Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles asked director general of health Ashley Bloomfield if he wanted to get vaccinated with her on top of the Sky Tower.
Bloomfield politely declined, saying his communications team were working on a vaccination event of their own.
On August 13, days before the current Delta outbreak was discovered in Auckland, Wiles texted Bloomfield.
The text read: "Hi Ashley, hope you are managing to keep well. I've a bit of an odd question ... If you've not been vaccinated yet, would you be up for being vaccinated with me at the top of the Sky Tower ?! (Not outside at the very top of [sic] that wasn't obvious!) All the best, Siouxsie".
Bloomfield replied that he was "not yet vaccinated (have been waiting my turn) and the Comms team has been working on a good opportunity for that (or to contribute to uptake if possible). Will let them know you've been in touch".
Wiles herself became the news in early September, when video emerged on the BFD Website showing her at a beach under alert level 4 rules. The video showed Wiles watching a friend swim, when swimming was in breach of the rules.
Wiles texted Bloomfield about the incident, warning a video was coming.
"I just thought I'd give you a heads up that Cam Slater thinks he has a scoop about me breaking level 4 rules and I've no idea if this is the sort of thing you may end up being asked to comment on!
"I went to Judges Bay with one of my bubble-mates a few days ago and we sat on the beach and chatted without masks on. That bay is super shallow and protected so she went for a 2-minute paddle.
"There were only about 2 other groups on the beach so it's really depressing that one of them filmed me and is trying to use that film to discredit me. I guess that's my life now! All the best, Siouxsie."
Bloomfield replied: "[s]orry to hear that and thanks for letting me know. Unfortunately goes with the territory as I've found on a couple of occasions!
"I don't think Cameron Slater has much cred these days."
Later that week, Bloomfield was quizzed about Wiles in the 1pm Covid-19 press conference.
Wiles apologises to Bloomfield that he had been "dragged into all this!"
"Hope you manage to get some time off this weekend. I promise I'll stay away from the beach!"
Bloomfield replied: "[n]o worries Siouxsie. It will pass quickly. Keep up the great work and plenty of good people who will stand by you [sic]."
Following the Slater controversy, Bloomfield said he had been in touch with Wiles by text message.
Those text messages between Wiles and Bloomfield were released under the Official Information Act.
Wiles and the Ministry of Health have been approached for comment.
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