David Clark has not yet apologised to the Director-General of Health after pointing the blame at him for the border testing failures, but Dr Ashley Bloomfield says they still have a "very good" relationship.
Newshub captured the "brutal" moment Clark said Bloomfield had taken responsibility for failing to test hundreds of people before releasing them from quarantine, while Bloomfield stood behind him.
"The Director-General has accepted that the protocol wasn't being followed. He has accepted responsibility for that... The Director-General has acknowledged that the system didn't deliver here," Clark said on Wednesday.
The video of the incident has prompted backlash online but Bloomfield said on Thursday he still categorises their relationship as "very good."
"I continue to work really closely with and support the minister in his work," he said.
"I just remain focused as I have since the start of this doing the best possible job I can and we continue to remain focused on keeping New Zealanders safe.
"And I just want to give a shout-out to my team who are working incredibly hard to continue to do that and we will keep supporting the minister [David Clark] and all New Zealanders to keep them safe from COVID-19."
Bloomfield says he doesn't believe he was unfairly blamed for the situation despite Air Commodore Darryn 'Digby' Webb being in charge of the border operations.
"I think the issue that happened around the testing, and what I am taking responsibility for, and we are now sorting out as I said we would, was mine to stand up and be counted about. I have and continue to work closely with Air Commodore Webb and we see this as a collective effort."
In the wake of the outrage, a fundraiser was also set up to buy Dr Bloomfield flowers but Bloomfield is urging Kiwis to put the money somewhere else.
"I haven't received any flowers," he said. "I'd love if people have money they wish to put to a good cause then they donate it to a local charity."
On Thursday he announced three new cases of COVID-19, all of which are in isolation and are related to overseas travel.