Ashley Bloomfield will step down as Director General of Health in July

dr Ashley Bloomfield will step down from his role as Director-General of Health at the end of July.

Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes announced the news in a media release on Tuesday morning.

“At this stage of the government’s response to Covid-19 and at the dawn of significant changes in the healthcare and disability sectors, Dr. Bloomfield believes July is a good time to step down and take an extended hiatus,” the media release said.

Bloomfield came to public attention in early 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s become a familiar face to Kiwis at press conferences over the past two years – leading Aoteroa’s response to the pandemic.

Hughes said Bloomfield had “worked tirelessly for more than two years to protect New Zealanders from the coronavirus.”

“Dr. Bloomfield has shown remarkable resilience and courage as he spearheaded the overall health system response to Covid-19. That response saved lives,” he said.

“I thank Dr. Bloomfield for his commitment to public service, spirit of community service and exceptional contribution to New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. I know that many New Zealanders will also be grateful for the work that has been done.

“Dr. Bloomfield always wanted to stay until New Zealand was in a good place with the coronavirus. That time is now.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took to social media to thank Bloomfield for his “hard work, his focus on the people”. [and] his calm and considered demeanor as a “true official”.

“He has been central to our Covid success as a nation and he has done it with humor and grace (I’ll keep the details of his sporadic taunts at me to myself!). When we discussed his decision to move on, he said he wanted to spend time with his family and that’s the least we owe him. So kia ora from the other side of the motu, Dr. Bloomfield. Thank you,” she wrote.

He signaled to the commissioner late last year that he intended to step down before his term officially ended on June 11, 2023.

The Public Service Commissioner will appoint an acting Director-General before Dr. Bloomfield will resign on July 29, 2022.

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