Report of Advisory Committee to Oversee the Implementation of the New Zealand COVID-19 Surveillance Plan and Testing Strategy

COVID-19 Pandemics Government accountability New Zealand

In response to a range of issues associated with the delivery and operation of the New Zealand border response the Minister of Health appointed an Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the New Zealand COVID-19 Surveillance Plan and Testing Strategy with a view to:

  • Determining the extent to which all elements of the strategy are being implemented including testing at the border
  • Identifying any issues or barriers that are preventing the strategy from being implemented, including resourcing, capacity, and legal matters
  • Identifying any improvements that can be made in the implementation
  • Identifying any other matters relevant to the Surveillance Plan and Testing Strategy and the pandemic response; and
  • Recommending options and or interventions required to successfully deliver the Surveillance Plan and Testing Strategy


Overall, the Committee found that by the time this report was being written all elements of the strategy, including border testing were under way. However, the Committee also notes that, a full and cohesive implementation has been impeded by:

  • poor communications both between and within, the Ministry of Health, various parts of the public service and different parts of the health sector;
  • a lack of appreciation of operational implications of directives; and
  • poorly designed risk targeting of testing regimes, particularly at the border.
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