The Government has appointed a special advisory group, led by business executive Sir Brian Roche, to help ensure it "learns and adapts" when it comes to the Covid-19 Response.
Former Air NZ chief executive Rob Fyfe is also on the new group.
In a statement this morning, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said this new advisory group would formalise its ongoing approach to independent review and improvement around Covid-19.
Speaking to media this morning, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the formation of this group has been in discussion for "some time" and was not formed as a direct result of the recent Auckland outbreak.
"It makes sense to have a group that is doing constant improvement work as part of our response to Covid-19."
National leader Judith Collins said the group was a good idea but said such a group should have been established a while ago.
"I think it could have been done before but I think we should give credit where it's due - we have finally got this and it's excellent."
It will be in operation until June next year, unless it's disestablished by ministers before that.
The group consists of:
• Rob Fyfe,
• Dr Debbie Ryan,
• Professor Phillip Hill, and
• Dr Dale Bramley.
"This is a group of highly respected and experienced experts, with strong connections across a number of fields," Hipkins said.
It will work on an "on-going basis" with the Government on its Covid-19 response
"We want them to go and have a look at the most recent outbreak experience that we have had over the last few weeks … look at that and say 'did the system work as intended'."
One of the things Hipkins wants the group to look into is the use of the categories during the last outbreak - the casual, casual plus and close contact categories.
Hipkins wants to know if this was a "help or a hindrance".
The establishment of the advisory group comes after the Government came under fire for the most recent outbreak in Auckland.
The group will be focused on continually monitoring the implementation of previous Government reviews, as well as providing impartial advice on the performance and impact of the whole system and the strategic direction of the response.
According to the terms and reference, The group could;
• Consider the current Covid-19 response efforts across the Government's systemwide response, encompassing border, managed isolation and quarantine, and public health response
• Provide an ongoing independent perspective on the robustness of the Covid-19 response system and opportunities for continuous improvement on specific aspects of the response to give the minister assurance that the necessary learnings have been recorded and implemented by agencies
The terms and reference for the group, who will report to Hipkins, was also released today and sets out what its objectives are.
"The purpose of the group is to provide advice to the Minister for Covid-19 Response on specific areas of the response where improvements could be made with the benefit of alternative and independent perspectives.
"It is expected that the group will advise the Minister for Covid-19 Response on the extent to which the Government response is performing efficiently and effectively and is based on best practice and technical advice.
"The group will provide advice to the Minister for Covid-19 Response on priority areas for improvement and learning. The group will also provide advice on forward scenario planning, readiness and preparedness of the system."
In the past, after community outbreaks, the Government made moves to strengthen its defences against Covid-19.
Earlier this year, the Government mandated pre-departure testing which means anyone who is travelling to New Zealand needs to test negative for Covid-19.
Before that announcement, only travellers coming from the US and the UK were required to produce a negative test.
But those rules were broadened in January to provide another line of defence for New Zealand against the pandemic.