Coronavirus: As officials hunt for the source of Auckland's COVID-19 cluster, there's also a search for political accountability

Not only is there a search on for the source of Auckland's COVID-19 outbreak - there's a search for political accountability. 

Fingers are being pointed every which way and politicians ducking for cover. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is calling for heads to roll - it's just not clear whose. 

MPs were back to Parliament on Tuesday with responsible physical distancing, as well as distancing from responsibility. 

The Government appears to be employing a divide and conquer technique - dividing the responsibility among so many Ministers and officials that the line of accountability has blurred. Those Ministers and officials are Health Minister Chris Hipkins, Managed Isolation Minister Megan Woods, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, and head of managed isolation and quarantine Air Commodore Darryn Webb.

The public was led to believe New Zealand's border workers were being regularly tested - Newshub last week revealed they weren't. The Opposition and the public are asking, 'who is responsible'? 

"As a Government, of course we take responsibility for our resurgence plan, for the fact that NZ continues to be one of the more successful countries in the world with our COVID response," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in Parliament on Tuesday.

But that successful response is under threat  - we still don't know how COVID-19 got back here.

"It will be proved to be a border incursion," National deputy leader Gerry Brownlee claims. "It has to be."

On June 23, the Government said asymptomatic testing of border-facing workers would start - the first testing of managed isolation workers was at the Rydges on July 21 - a month later. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to MPs on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking to MPs on Tuesday. Photo credit: Parliament TV

Peters has had enough.

"When you find out that something that was promised to be done has not been done, then it's got to be like [a] business, like every other profession I know, a thing called accountability," Peters said.

He wants heads to roll. 

"If it's inadequate in terms of an answer then that person must go," said Peters. "It's that simple.

"The buck stops at the top - it always does."