Former Health Director-General, Sir Ashley Bloomfield, was knighted this morning by the governor-general for his outstanding service to public health during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony took place in Wellington and was attended by Sir Ashley’s family.
During the investiture, Sir Ashley revealed that his parents were on his mind during this special moment. Although they have passed away, the governor-general acknowledged that they would have been proud of him. This recognition held special significance for Sir Ashley because his father was awarded an MBE in 1974 for his service in the territorial force.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins also attended the event and commended Sir Ashley for his calm demeanor during the turbulent times of the pandemic. Hipkins expressed his gratitude for Sir Ashley’s support and noted that he couldn’t have done his job without him.
However, not all interactions with Sir Ashley were welcomed, as Hipkins shared an amusing anecdote about receiving a phone call from him on election night with news of a new Covid-19 case. Despite the interruption, Hipkins appreciated Sir Ashley’s dedication to his work.
In his acceptance speech, Sir Ashley dedicated his knighthood to all the people he had worked with during the pandemic. He expressed gratitude for their collaboration and emphasized the importance of teamwork.