David Clark allegations ‘a mountain out of a mole hill’ – Phil Twyford

The AM Show 15/06/2018

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has defended the Health Minister after a voicemail suggests he tried to gag DHB staff from talking about Middlemore Hospital.

Newshub obtained a voicemail and emails which suggest Dr David Clark tried to gag senior DHB staff talking publicly about the state of embattled Middlemore Hospital.

You're putting two and two together and getting five.

In one case Dr Clark even appeared to promise a board member, who he'd sacked, another job if they stayed quiet.

However, Dr Clark denies claims he tried to gag anyone.

Mr Twford told RadioLIVE’s Duncan Garner that Dr Clark is tackling the issues at Middlemore Hospital.

“Look, there is rot, mould and sewage in the walls of that hospital. And he is rolling his sleeves up, he is fixing the problems at Middlemore that we inherited.”

Garner counters Mr Twyford, asking if he even believes what he is saying.

"I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill with this thing - there's no evidence of [intimidation] from what I heard.

“There’s nothing wrong with David Clark saying that he’s not keen to have more commentary and discussion about the issue. David is the Health Minister.

“You're putting two and two together and getting five," Mr Twyford said.

Meanwhile, National MP Judith Collins called the allegations “very dodgy” and should be investigated.

“I think David Clark needs to answer some questions. Let’s not jump straight into sacking mode – let’s have a look and ask him to front up and be truthful to the public.”

Listen to the full interview with Phil Twyford and Judith Collins above.

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