Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has offered somewhat half-hearted confidence in the Government's frontline testing register.
Although he has referred to it as a "good tool," he has doubled down on the fact the ultimate onus is on the employers of private frontline staff.
This comes as the robustness of the testing register has been called into question.
First Security – the private firm where a now Covid-positive security guard was not testing since November – last night said the testing register didn't raise any red flags until March 26.
Despite this, Hipkins said he had: "Confidence in the register, as a tool."
"I wouldn't say there was a failure to oversee testing."
He said case B – the security worker – had been sent "at least four text messages" telling him to get tested.
"Companies need to keep records of who needs to be tested – not everyone on the testing register will need to be tested."
A security guard, for example, working a week-long shift at a facility could go and work somewhere else.
"They are still on the testing register but would not necessarily need to be tested.
"The register is a tool they [employers] can use – they need to know which of their staff is working and when."
Asked if he had confidence that the register was being used as it should, Hipkins said it was "a tool".
But the responsibility sits with employers, he said.
Pressed again if the register was raising red flags at the right times, he said again that it was a "good tool".
"But, it is not the only tool," he told reporters but did not go into detail about what these other tools were.
He said he had asked officials to find out if private companies, working on the frontlines, have been using the register.
But this will be one area the investigation into this saga will be looking into.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Trevor Mallard this afternoon doubled the number of
supplementary questions National's Chris Bishop could ask in the House.
Mallard told reporters that the reason he did this because the Opposition did not get adequate time to ask questions in a Covid-19 select committee yesterday.
Bishop had sent Mallard a letter, complaining about the issue – but Mallard said his ruling was not a direct response to this letter.
"What I was attempting to do was send a message that the select committee process is an important one.
"To run a 50-minute session with 23 minutes from officials and very little chance for most members to ask questions is not satisfactory and is contrary to spirit of the standing orders report."