Government sat for nearly a week on key information about border worker who hadn't been tested for five months

Newshub can reveal the Government sat on key information for nearly a week about Case B, the border worker who went five months without a test, when they're supposed to be tested fornightly. 

Despite being repeatedly asked about when he was tested, the Government didn't admit what it knew for six days, and now National says the Government is lying by omission. 

Back in April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had no qualms about dropping the 'L' bomb, blaming Case B - a border worker with COVID-19 - for going five months without getting a test. 

"It is obviously quite difficult when an individual as we've been advised has lied about being tested," Ardern told Parliament in April, drawing gasps from the Opposition benches. 

But it turns out the Government wasn't totally upfront about the case either, and is now facing 'L' bomb allegations of its own.

"It looks like a case of lying by omission," National MP Chris Bishop told Newshub. "The ministers were asked direct questions about this case and they just were not up front with the public."

Case B hadn't been tested since November last year. 

A parliamentary question has revealed the Government knew about the five-month lag for six whole days before telling the public, and that's despite being repeatedly grilled about when the last test was. 

This is what Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said, four days after learning about the lag. 

"What we can say is we haven't been able to identify a test from the middle of March until the one that was taken and the confirmed positive test on the 8th of April," he told a press conference. 

"That's of course part of it," he said, when asked why the Government didn't just ask the border worker when he was last tested. 

It turns out they already had asked. 

Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) boss Brigadier Jim Bliss was asked point blank: do you or do you not know when Case B was last tested?

"So we're still investigating that at the moment but we are concerned that it wasn't in accordance with our 14 days testing regime," Bliss said at the time. "I think we should know that by the end of the week."

But they actually already knew.

"I would describe it as very deceptive," says Bishop. 

Officials first learnt Case B hadn't been tested since November on the morning of April 8. It was kicked upstairs to the team that manages COVID-19 cases soon after.

Dr Bloomfield was then briefed. The minister was told ahead of the 1pm press conference. Six days later the Government finally owned up. 

But it was a bit like getting blood from a stone.

Carolyn Tremain, chief executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) - which oversees managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) - made the revelation at a parliamentary committee, when asked about it by Bishop

The Prime Minister said on Monday she believes her Government is upfront and honest when it comes to COVID-19 cases. 

"Yes," she said. "We give what we can at the time that we have it... We have put it at times of the day."

And sometimes they wait a week.