'He wasn't up to the job': How MPs reacted to David Clark's resignation as Health Minister

Reaction has been almost unanimous - Dr David Clark's resignation as Health Minister was the right call. 

Dunedin is the home of hiking and cycling, yellow-eyed penguins and Dr Clark - the now-former Health Minister. Locals saw it in the wind, and they will be seeing more of Dr Clark, as he wants to stay on as Dunedin MP.

"I will be asking the people of Dunedin for their continued support," he said in his resignation speech on Thursday morning.

Members of Parliament backed his decision to step away from the health portfolio.

"The reality is David Clark was not up to the job and he should have gone some time ago," National's deputy leader Nikki Kaye says.

"He realised he needed to go before the Prime Minister did," ACT leader David Seymour said.

Meka Whaitiri, who was removed as Minister after allegations she assaulted a staffer, knows exactly how it feels.

"That's why I'm feeling probably as emotional as I am for him and his family at this stage," Whaitiri told Newshub.

Other colleagues were simply brutal. Asked whether she was sad Dr Clark had stepped down, fellow Labour MP Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki said "absolutely not".

"We're a team of 5 million and we've all got to do our bit," she said. "He's taking a role in the team of 5 million."

Dr Clark's resignation meant Chris Hipkins was taking up a new role in the team of 5 million - adding the significant health portfolio to his responsibilities as minister of education, state services and leader of the House.

"I like a good challenge," he said.

Hipkins won't be throwing Dr Ashley Bloomfield under the bus, saying he thinks the Director-General of Health "deserves a holiday" and "hopes he will still take one" in light of the shake-up.

But his time in the health portfolio could be temporary - it's just a caretaker role. 

Next term Ardern will have health expert Ayesha Verrall in her caucus - and she's not ruling out taking on the portfolio if Ardern forms a Government.

The Prime Minister's got no plans to allow Dr Clark to redeem his way into the role, but the door is open for a possible return to the Cabinet in the future.