Bloomfield in 2020
Ashley Robin Bloomfield
1965/1966 (age 54–55)
Napier, New Zealand
|Alma mater||University of Auckland|
|Occupation||Director-General of Health|
Ashley Robin Bloomfield (born 1965/1966) is a New Zealand public health official. He is the chief executive of the Ministry of Health and the country's Director-General of Health. He has been the public-facing health specialist fronting the media during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand on behalf of the government, since the first press conference on 27 January 2020.
Early life and family
Bloomfield was born in Napier in 1965 or 1966, one of three children of Allan Olaf Bloomfield and Myreine Alice Bloomfield (née Osborne). His mother was a schoolteacher, while his father was a lieutenant colonel in the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (Territorial Force) and a manager at Mitsubishi Motors in Porirua, and was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1974 New Year Honours. He grew up in Tawa, a suburb of Wellington, and was educated at Scots College, where he was head prefect, dux and played 1st XV rugby.
Bloomfield completed several years of clinical work and from 1996 specialised in public health medicine, concentrating on non-communicable disease. Between 2004 and 2006, Bloomfield was the Ministry of Health's acting director of public health. From 2006 to 2010, he was the ministry's chief public health adviser.
From late 2010 to late 2011, based at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Bloomfield worked on non-communicable disease prevention and control with a global focus. From 2012 to 2015, he held leading positions across district health boards with Capital & Coast District, Hutt Valley, and Wairarapa. From 2015 to 2018, Bloomfield was chief executive at Hutt Valley District Health Board. In the first half of 2018, Bloomfield was seconded to the Capital & Coast District Health Board where he was interim chief executive. Since June 2018, he has been the chief executive of the country's Ministry of Health and the country's Director-General of Health. Since he started as the ministry's Chief Executive he has attended a leadership programme at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.
Colleagues describe Bloomfield as "measured, methodical, calm and sensible". Former health reporter Tess Nichol, writing for the American online magazine Slate, described him as "New Zealand’s current obsession, an unlikely heartthrob, a mild-mannered health care hero". Former prime minister, Geoffrey Palmer, remarked about Bloomfield: "It is a long time since a public servant has become so well-known."
- "Wai 2575, #A59" (PDF). Waitangi Tribunal, Department of Justice. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
- Hyde, Sahiban (20 May 2020). "Covid 19 coronavirus: Ashley Bloomfield stuns boy, 6, with handwritten response to letter". Hawke's Bay Today. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
- Fisher, David (11 April 2020). "Ashley Bloomfield's rise to the top – the inside story". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "Allan Bloomfield death notice". New Zealand Herald. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "Bloomfield–Osborne". Hawke's Bay Photo News. 3 (5). April 1961. p. 15. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "No. 46163". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 1 January 1974. p. 36.
- "Covid-19 coronavirus: Inside Dr Ashley Bloomfield's work and family bubble". New Zealand Herald. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
- Thomas, Rachel (28 March 2020). "The face of the Covid-19 response: Who is Ashley Bloomfield?". The Spinoff. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- Macdonald, Nikki (7 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Ashley Bloomfield is the face of NZ's virus defence". Stuff. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
After taking the job – and after attending a leadership programme at Oxford University – Bloomfield said he subscribed to a 'convene and collaborate' and 'ensuring direction not giving direction' model of leadership, rather than command and control.
- "Cometh the hour…". Otago Daily Times. 21 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
- "Introducing Ashley Bloomfield". Ministry of Health. 13 June 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Kiriona, Renee (28 April 2004). "Check for Sars symptoms, doctors told". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Errol, Kiong; Johnston, Martin (18 January 2006). "Bird flu campaign to target 1.4m households". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- "Dr Ashley Bloomfield: Director-General of Health and Chief Executive". Ministry of Health Manatū Hauoa. New Zealand Government. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
- Nichol, Tess (6 April 2020). "The extremely competent, somewhat boring civil servant who has New Zealanders' hearts aflutter". Slate. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
- Palmer, Geoffrey (10 May 2020). "Geoffrey Palmer: Hallelujah! New Zealand government works". The Spinoff. Retrieved 11 May 2020.