Breach of COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021

Mark Brown made this Official Information request to Jacinda Ardern

The request was successful.

From: Mark Brown

Dear Jacinda Ardern,

Concerning the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 that came into affect 11:59pm 30 April 2021. (1)

Schedule 2, Item 3.2 lists one group of affected persons with the definition "Government officials who interact with international arriving or international transiting passengers"

We note that Scott Morrison arrived 30 May 2021 in Queenstown for a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (2).

On 18 June 2021 it was reported Jacinda Ardern received her first Dose of Pfizer vaccine (3).

Please outline how Jacinda Ardern is not in breach of this Order (1) and has not committed an offence under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 section 26?

Links to references above.




Yours faithfully,

Mark Brown

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From: Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Kia ora


Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with Prime Minister Jacinda


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From: Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Dear Mark Brown
Thank you for your email to the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
The Minister for COVID-19 Response, Hon Chris Hipkins, will be responding to you, as this is something which falls into his area of responsibility.
Thank you for writing
Yours sincerely

Dinah Okeby
Office of the Prime Minister

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From: Lydia Verschaffelt

Kia ora Mark

On behalf of Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister for COVID-19 Response, thank you for your email. Your correspondence has been referred to this office as these matters fall within the Minister’s portfolio responsibilities. We appreciate you taking the time to write.

We understand that you have concerns about the Prime Minister's meeting with Scott Morrison on 30 May 2021 in Queenstown, with regards to the the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021.

We can confirm that the Prime Minister is not in breach of the order as she is not an airport worker or official working at an airport and not a "government official" as intended by the Order.

The Order's purpose is to prevent, and limit the risk of, the outbreak or spread of COVID-19 by requiring work at certain places to be carried out by affected persons who are vaccinated. The order creates duties in this regard for certain persons and relevant PCBUs.

The Prime Minister is not a frontline worker at the border, such as a MIQ, aircrew or airside worker, which are the people that the Order is designed to protect by ensuring they are vaccinated.

You can find more information in the Order's Explanatory Note at

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Ngâ 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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