Duncan Garner: Sacking David Clark should be considered an 'essential service'

OPINION: Jacinda Ardern has blinked.

Ardern had every opportunity in the world to sack her hapless Health Minister David Clark once and for all for moving house the day before we went into lockdown five weeks ago.

This guy just doesn't get it.

This was genuinely Ardern's chance to kick him to touch, to sack him.

Surely level 3 regulations allow for that?

Heck, I'd even argue his sacking has become an "essential service".

This guy is a repeat offender.

First flouting the rules in level 4 to go the beach 60km away, then he went up a mountain bike track.

And now we learn of the house move - although that was the day before we went into level 4.

But really David, read the room.

Yet, he's been saved on a technicality.

And to me it says a lot about Ardern's leadership, the lack of depth in her caucus and the absence of that truly ruthless edge.

And I can't fathom why.

Imagine if we all moved houses the day before level 4 lockdown last month.

Imagine what the PM would have said to us then.

Use your common sense. Stay home and save lives.

But not if you're the Health Minister?

Oh no, there's one set of rules for us and a special set for Clark.

Because that's what it seems like.

And this really is a giant ministerial slap in the face to the rest of us who have stuck to the game plan and made huge sacrifices in the name of our nation and our nanas and poppas and hunkered down.

It's also a punch in the nose to all those businesses that still can't open in level 3 and are desperate for level 2.

And it's a kick in the gonads to all those Kiwis who wanted to do the same thing - move house on the eve of alert level 4 - but wisely took the advice to stick to where they were. 

But Clark was apparently still moving boxes up and down the road in alert level 4. Again, imagine if we all did that?

And I'm not talking about just any old bloke here. I'm talking about Clark - he was meant to set the example.

He's the damn Health Minister.

She should have fired him this time, but the PM blinked and I think she's got this wrong.

She had her chance and she didn't take it.