Robin Benson [FYI request #14858 email]
Ref: DOIA 2021-1717
30 March 2021
I refer to your request dated 5 March for information under the Official Information
Act 1982 (the OIA):
Please provide any and all cost data, whether in part or aggregate, relating to
the securing, support, funding, purchase of Covid19 vaccine, or any other type
of payment made to or financial agreement agreed with vaccine producers
and/or developers and/or suppliers in the context of Covid19.
Please confirm MBIE policy in relation to the public provision of this and related
cost data following entering into any such commercial agreements.
All vaccine purchase contracts were funded from a contingency that is managed by the
Ministry of Health (MOH). The overall contingency has covered expenses for both
vaccine procurement and the Immunisation Programme.
The contingency was used to fund purchases of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and
Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccines. It has also covered New Zealand’s participation in the
global COVAX Facility (including a $26.88 million upfront payment). I can confirm that
the purchasing funding was not used to make any separate payments to vaccine
producers, developers, or suppliers while MBIE was leading vaccine procurement.
The government will be proactively releasing overall cost information in the next few
weeks, where that information does not reveal the amounts paid for individual
contracts. I have been informed that this release will occur no later than 15 May 2021.
MBIE will not provide cost figures for individual contracts because the government has
signed confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs) with the vaccine suppliers that we
negotiated with. These CDAs prevent disclosure of the terms of the contracts,
including pricing information, and were necessary for timely assessment and access to
safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
In accordance with the Act, we are therefore withholding overall cost information
under section 18(d): the information requested is or will soon be publicly available.
We are also withholding individual contract costs under section 9(2)(ba):
To protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence where the
making available of the information would be likely to:
prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the
same source, and it is in the public interest that such information
should continue to be supplied; and
would be likely to otherwise damage the public interest
Please note that the Ministry of Health is responsible for managing the government’s
contracts with suppliers and, as of February 2020, has replaced MBIE as the lead
agency for vaccine procurement.
For more information on the overall purchasing strategy, you can find the August
Cabinet paper here: https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/proactive-release-2020-
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this
decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at
www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602. Please contact me if you
wish to discuss any aspect of your request or this response.
Manager, International Science Partnerships
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment