Duncan Garner: Chris Hipkins must demand explanation over lack of COVID-19 testing stations

OPINION: It was with utter head-shaking disbelief that I read Auckland had shut down a huge swathe of its 20 covid testing sites.

Just six remain and they're not open on the weekend.

They're the ones that were set up all over Auckland to capture the demand during the past few months.

I went to one to get tested - smart, friendly, helpful, quick, efficient and seriously busy. 

In and out within a few minutes, and they were local. So crucially, we didn't have to travel far.

But most of them are gone. Just quietly closed and shut up shop. 

Who knew? Seems no one. Certainly not Health Minister Chris Hipkins.

There are six testing centres that will remain open but not on weekends.

How hopeless.

COVID-19 doesn't take a break on Saturday and Sundays. 

Wake up people. If we are to beat COVID-19 we gotta be 24/7 vigilant.

Have we learned nothing from the last few months?

This feels scarily similar to the testing that wasn't going on at the border when the entire Government thought the testing was going on. 

Why did Hipkins not know? That's called being blindsided. 

He must demand an explanation.

It all stinks of complacency - not OUR complacency - but the Government's complacency.

And this is exactly what we talked about when we came back to level 1, that the complacency message needed to apply to not just the public but also the Government and the public service.

This latest development does not give me confidence.

This pandemic hasn't just suddenly disappeared because the election is over. 

Do not ruin Christmas Mr Hipkins.

Kick some butt and smash some heads together. And ask to be put on the email list.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.