Information about decision to relax border restrictions for vaccinated Air New Zealand crew

Scott made this Official Information request to Chris Hipkins

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Chris Hipkins should normally have responded promptly and by (details and exceptions)

From: Scott

Dear Chris Hipkins,

This is an OIA request for information relating to the decision to relax border restrictions for vaccinated Air New Zealand crew, due to come into effect 30 June and first reported by Stuff:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/...

I request copies of all documents relating to this decision, including both the new policy that vaccinated crew will no longer have to undergo their periods of managed isolation and - as Stuff's article seems to suggest - that they will no longer be required to undergo regular testing.

My request is for all documents, but in particular should include information relating to how it was decided that this policy change could be made without jeopardising public health through increasing the risk of community outbreaks and undetected border incursions. This should be in reference to the current Ministry advice that the effectiveness of vaccines at reducing viral transmission is "unclear":

https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/...

And may benefit from reference to the publically expressed opinions of expert commentators Professor Michael Plank and Dr Siouxsie Wiles that the change of policy seems "risky":

https://twitter.com/MichaelPlankNZ/statu...
https://twitter.com/SiouxsieW/status/140...

I have made a similar request to the Ministry of Health, so no part of this request will need to be transferred there.

Yours faithfully,

Scott

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From: C Hipkins (MIN)
Chris Hipkins

Kia ora

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for
COVID-19 Response, Minister of Education, Minister for the Public Sector
and Leader of the House. We are receiving a significant amount of
correspondence at the moment and, although your email will be carefully
considered and noted, it is not possible to respond to each individual
email.

 

For the latest updates on COVID-19, we encourage you to regularly check
the dedicated [1]COVID-19 and [2]Ministry of Health websites regularly.
They will be updated as soon as new information is available.

 

If your query is in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine, there are substantive
resources about our COVID-19 vaccine planning and our COVID-19 vaccine
strategy on the dedicated COVID-19 website
here: [3]https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellb...
or the Ministry of Health website
here: [4]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise....

 

Please remember to take care, and be kind. We have beaten COVID-19 before,
and we can do it again.

Ngā mihi,

Office of Hon Chris Hipkins

Minister for COVID-19 Response | Minister of Education | Minister for the
Public Sector | Leader of the House | MP for Remutaka

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From: Lydia Verschaffelt

Kia ora Scott

On behalf of Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for COVID-19 Response, thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).

The information requested appears to be more closely associated with the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Health. I have been advised that you have made the a request to the Ministry of Health for the same information, and as such, a transfer of your request under section 14 of the Act will not be necessary. You can expect a response from the Ministry in due course. I note your comment that a transfer to the Ministry is not necessary. However, the advice and documents you are requesting that came to the Minister was provided by the Ministry, and the Ministry is therefore best placed to respond to your request.

You have the right, under section 28 of the Act, to ask the Ombudsman to review this decision to transfer your request for information.

Ngā mihi

Lydia Verschaffelt | Health Private Secretary
Office of Hon Chris Hipkins
Minister for COVID-19 Response | Minister of Education | Minister for the Public Service | Leader of the House
Parliament Buildings, Private Bag 18041, Wellington 6160, New Zealand

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