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Request for Pfizer Agreement with New Zealand Government

Chris 44 made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Chris 44 to read a recent response and update the status.

From: Chris 44

Dear Ministry of Health,

On 05 October 2020 In the interest of the Public, the Government granted vaccine suppliers such as Pfizer indemnity against claims under Under Section 65ZD of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Given that this indemnity was granted in the interest of the Public.
Under the Official Information Act, the Public has the right to view the Pfizer Agreement with the New Zealand Government.

I formally request under the Official Information Act 1982 that I receive a copy of the Pfizer agreement with the New Zealand Government.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Collins

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From: OIA Requests


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Attachment H202110481 Pfizer contract response 1.pdf
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Kia ora Chris,
Thank you for your email.

Your request for 'copy of the Pfizer agreement with the New Zealand
Government' has been withheld in full under section 9(2)(b)(ii) of the
Official Information Act (the Act) where its release would likely
unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied
the information. 

Please refer to the attached response for further information.  

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602. 
 

Ngā mihi 

 
Nick Allan 

Manager, OIA Services 

Office of the Director-General 

Ministry of Health 

E: [2][email address

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From: Chris 44 <[FYI request #17050 email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 October 2021 15:59
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Official Information request - Request for Pfizer Agreement with
New Zealand Government
 
Dear Ministry of Health,

On 05 October 2020 In the interest of the Public, the Government granted
vaccine suppliers such as Pfizer indemnity against claims under Under
Section 65ZD of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Given that this indemnity was granted in the interest of the Public.
Under the Official Information Act, the Public has the right to view the
Pfizer Agreement with the New Zealand Government.

I formally request under the Official Information Act 1982 that I receive
a copy of the Pfizer agreement with the New Zealand Government.   

Yours faithfully,

Chris Collins

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FYI request #17050 email]

Is [Ministry of Health request email] the wrong address for Official Information requests
to Ministry of Health? If so, please contact us using this form:
[3]https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
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If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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Erika Whittome left an annotation ()

Dear Sir/Madam,
Under which circumstances does commercial position override the health of those being mandated to take a vaccine? Is this commercial position in line with the Hypocratic Oath which doctors take? Does the ministry of health abide by the hypocratic oath?

Sincerely
Erika Whittome

Link to this

Chris 44 left an annotation ()

Email Sent to Ombudsman:

To whom it may concern:

As a New Zealand Citizen,

I have put in a request with the Ministry of Health for a copy of the Pfizer agreement with the New Zealand Government.

I have been advised that it will be declined under section 9(2)(B)(ii) of the Official information Act. As its release would likely unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied the information.

However, On 05 October 2020 In the interest of the Public, the Government granted vaccine suppliers such as Pfizer indemnity against claims under Under
Section 65ZD of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Given that this indemnity was granted in the interest of the Public. Under the Official Information Act, the Public has the right to view the
Pfizer Agreement with the New Zealand Government, as we the citizens deserve to see this agreement as part of our own individual due diligence before considering taking a vaccine knowing all the terms and agreement granted in the public interest.

Your assistance in this matter of transparency would be much appreciated.

Yours Faithfully,

Chris Collins

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From: Chris 44

Dear OIA Requests,

As per your reply, it looks like the attached documents are not addressed to me.
can I please have a letter addressed to me.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

Link to this

Clem White left an annotation ()

Chris you have my full support in endeavoring to access this information. Under the circumstances the citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand absolutely have the right to know the terms of the agreement that has been made on their behalf.

Please update here once you have a response from the ombudsman.

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Clem White left an annotation ()

Further to this, I would add to your point about indemnity that this applies not only to New Zealand. We are also covering any liability Pfizer might otherwise have had in other countries where we are paying for the vaccine to be distributed, namely Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. So the New Zealand government (and therefore the people of this country) will be responsible paying legal fees and damages for any law suits resulting from averse reactions in these countries that we have paid to be vaccinated.

Is our country putting up national assets as collateral to cover these potential damages, as has been specified in leaked contracts with other countries? The fact that national assets are being required as collateral in these examples signifies that Pfizer themselves considers the potential for compensation from harm to be astronomical, exceeding what could be covered with routine national budgets - although admittedly it provides no indication as to the likelihood of this occurring.

It is my belief that we have a right to know whether or not being subjected to the extremely abusive terms imposed upon these other nations. It is astonishing to me that neither our government nor our media appears to consider there to be any validity to this belief.

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From: Chris 44

Dear OIA Requests,

I was expecting a response yesterday.
can you please provide a letter addressed to me as to why my request was withheld.

Given that the Government is looking to mandate restrictions. I would like to see the terms of the agreement with the supplier of the vaccines before I consider it for myself.

Your delay only delays my own decision process.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

Link to this

From: OIA Requests

Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your Official Information Act (the Act) request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. We
will endeavour to acknowledge your request as soon as possible. Further
information about COVID-19 can be found on our
website: [1]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

 

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [2]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

If you have any questions while we're processing your request, please let
us know via [3][email address]

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[4]Ministry of Health information releases  

[5]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

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References

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1. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...
2. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
5. https://covid19.govt.nz/

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From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Chris,
Thank you for your email.
As you were previously advised, the Ministry is unable to provide you with
a copy of the Pfizer contract due to commercial sensitivity. Therefore,
your request is withheld under the following sections of the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act): 

* Section 9(2)(b)(ii) as its release would likely unreasonably prejudice
the commercial position of the person who supplied the information.   

* Section 9(2)(ba)(ii) to protect information that is subject to an
obligation of confidence and making it available would likely damage
the public interest. 

Although the Ministry appreciates the high degree of public interest in
its vaccination programme and the Pfizer vaccine, this does not outweigh
the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the
agreement. 

There is a large amount of information publicly available about the
vaccine, including on the Medsafe website
here: [1]www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/medicine-approval-process.asp 

Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [2][email address] or by phone on 0800
802 602. 

Ngā mihi   

   
Nick Allan   

Manager, OIA Services   

Office of the Director-General  

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Chris 44 <[FOI #17050 email]>
Sent: Thursday, 4 November 2021 12:19
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Response to your correspondence 5 October 2021
 
Dear OIA Requests,

I was expecting a response yesterday.
can you please provide a letter addressed to me as to why my request was
withheld.

Given that the Government is looking to mandate restrictions. I would like
to see the terms of the agreement with the supplier of the vaccines before
I consider it for myself. 

Your delay only delays my own decision process.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

show quoted sections

Link to this

Paul Jones left an annotation ()

Based on agreements leaked from overseas watch this video https://youtu.be/nYIJxoh7gqw as to why the NZ Government can't release the Pfizer agreement.

Link to this

From: Chris 44

Dear OIA Requests,

As per my previous 2 emails,

I acknowledge your reason regarding commercial sensitivity and would like in a Ministry of Health Letter addressed to me stating this position.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

Link to this

From: OIA Requests

Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your Official Information Act (the Act) request. This is
an automatic reply to let you know we received it.

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. We
will endeavour to acknowledge your request as soon as possible. Further
information about COVID-19 can be found on our
website: [1]https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...

 

In accordance with the Act, we'll let you know our decision within no more
than 20 working days. If you'd like to calculate the timeframe, you can
use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [2]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

If you have any questions while we're processing your request, please let
us know via [3][email address]

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[4]Ministry of Health information releases  

[5]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/dise...
2. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...
3. mailto:[email address]
4. https://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministr...
5. https://covid19.govt.nz/

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From: OIA Requests


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Attachment Response to your request.pdf
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Kia ora Chris,

 

Please find attached a letter in response to your request

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[1]Ministry of Health information releases  

[2]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

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From: Chris 44 <[FOI #17050 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November 2021 11:52
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Response to your correspondence 5 October 2021

 

Dear OIA Requests,

As per my previous 2 emails,

I acknowledge your reason regarding commercial sensitivity and would like
in a Ministry of Health Letter addressed to me stating this position.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

show quoted sections

Link to this

Clem White left an annotation ()

This is response is unacceptable. This is not a normal situation and a normal contract. The entire country is being mandated to take this vaccine as a condition for taking part in society. It is now being pushed for use in children. The manufacturer not only has complete indemnity from action by our government, but also our government must pay all costs and damages from claims made both within this country and also other countries that we have helped make the vaccine available to.

We have a right to know any ways in which the commercial arrangement with Pfizer may influence the governments actions especially with regards to the specifics of the vaccination rollout program.

The only reason that the government can get away with this is the almost complete compliance of the media. However this in no way diminishes their obligations to the people who they supposedly serve.

I understand the concept of confidentiality agreements, but do not accept that a government can make such a wide reaching agreement on behalf of it's people without the people have the right to know any aspect of the obligations they have been signed up for. I also understand that the power relationship with Pfizer and our government (as well as many others) is deeply unequal, with the government having been in a position of having to accept whatever terms Pfizer imposed including confidentiality, and that they may view any confrontation with Pfizer as being detrimental to the future supply of vaccines.

However this only further exacerbates the importance of transparency in these agreements, because ability of Pfizer to hold governments to ransom only increases the chances of there being detrimental aspects of the agreement. Furthermore a strong argument could be made that the confidentiality aspect of the agreement was added under duress, so could be argued to be invalid. And there is also a strong case that lack of transparency may adding to hesitancy among many of those yet to take the vaccine - a large proportion of who are not crazed conspiracy theorists as portrayed by the government / media, but merely concerned citizens who are not comfortable with the control of information on this issue. In particular I believe this will have an even larger impact on the children's vaccination program.

As a minimal first step, the government should engage in talks with Pfizer, aiming to reach an agreement to release details of the agreement. If Pfizer refuses, they should seek to form an alliance with other nations to pressure the company to accept a more transparent path. These are basic obligations that the government has to it's people.

Chris Collins thank you for making this request, and I would strongly encourage you to advance the matter to the ombudsman. I would be happy to provide any support that might be useful in this process.

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N.R.B left an annotation ()

One would think about the mechanism for such a private arrangement being protected more than public health. Perhaps the TPPA has a foot hold here. Commercial interests protected and allowed.

Link to this

From: Chris 44

Dear OIA Requests,

Thank you, I have received my requested letter.

I have a couple of questions based on your response:

" Although the Ministry appreciates the high degree of public interest in its vaccination programme and the Pfizer vaccine, this does not outweigh the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the agreement."

1: Can you provide me the criteria which has lead the Ministry of Health to conclude the commercial sensitivity of information in the agreement outweigh my request?

2: What criteria would need to be meet in a request which would outweigh the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the agreement?

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora Chris,

 

Thank you for your email. The Ministry is satisfied with the decision and
has nothing further to add.

 

You have the right, under section 23 of the Act to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.     

 

Ngā mihi  

OIA Services Team  

   

[2]Ministry of Health information releases  

[3]Unite against COVID-19 

 

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Chris 44 <[FOI #17050 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, 17 November 2021 15:55
To: OIA Requests <[email address]>
Subject: Re: Response to your correspondence 5 October 2021

 

Dear OIA Requests,

Thank you, I have received my requested letter.

I have a couple of questions based on your response:

" Although the Ministry appreciates the high degree of public interest in
its vaccination programme and the Pfizer vaccine, this does not outweigh
the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the
agreement."

1: Can you provide me the criteria which has lead the Ministry of Health
to conclude the commercial sensitivity of information in the agreement
outweigh my request?

2: What criteria would need to be meet in a request which would outweigh
the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the
agreement?

Yours sincerely,

Chris Collins

show quoted sections

Link to this

Chris 44 left an annotation ()

2nd Letter to Ombudsmen (First one was declined as I didn't have a letter addressed to me personally from MOH.)

To whom it may concern:

As a New Zealand Citizen,

I have put in a request with the Ministry of Health for a copy of the Pfizer agreement with the New Zealand Government.

I have been advised that it was declined under section 9(2)(B)(ii) of the Official information Act. As its release would likely unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied the information.

However, On 05 October 2020 in the interest of the Public, the Government granted vaccine suppliers such as Pfizer indemnity against claims under Section 65ZD of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Given that this indemnity was granted in the interest of the Public. Under the Official Information Act, the Public has the right to view the Pfizer Agreement with the New Zealand Government, as we the citizens deserve to see this agreement as part of our own individual due diligence before considering taking a vaccine knowing all the terms and agreements granted in the public interest.

Secondly, given that latest mandates imposed by the Government, may restrict one's ability to work or get access to certain venues and services. Knowing what was negotiated on our behalf as a citizen is imperative.

And finally, as a citizen and the most important decision maker in assessing the efficacy of the Pfizer Vaccine for own use, transparency outweighs the need to protect the commercial sensitivity of the information in the agreement, when potential vaccine adverse reactions, loss of employment and social access are the consequences.

Your assistance in this matter of transparency is appreciated.

Yours Faithfully,

Chris Collins

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