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Pandemic planning and COVID-19 response

ASE made this Official Information request to Ministry of Health

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From: ASE

Dear Ministry of Health,

I am writing today to make a request as per the Official Information Act, regarding the COVID-19 response and related matters.

This request extends to all persons, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, organisations, bodies, or individuals advising on such matters, or otherwise exerting influence in any capacity. If this request relates to information that you have reason to believe may be held by any other persons or bodies, I trust that you will forward this request to them and advise accordingly.

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017[1] was the sole or primary government plan for pandemic management, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic? What other pandemic planning was in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 was intended to establish a framework for action that can readily be adopted and applied to any pandemic, irrespective of the nature of the virus and its severity?

Does the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 recognise that people who recover from a viral disease are likely to acquire natural immunity? On the balance of evidence (both for and against) is there reason to believe that this is not the case with COVID-19?

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 is based on planning around a respiratory virus with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 2%?

In countries/states with populations and healthcare systems comparable to New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D, low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are associated with each COVID-19 death?

Within New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D, low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are associated with each COVID-19 death?

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against) was the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 effectively set aside, in favour of pandemic planning that appears more ad lib? What legal process was required for such change of plans?

What is the current status of COVID-19 pandemic planning? Where can these plans be found in their entirety? Are these plans being made up ad lib? How have they evolved thus far?

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 aims towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? Is it correct that the intent of that plan is a return to pre-pandemic normal, as quickly as practicable?

Does current COVID-19 planning (and variations) aim towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? Is it correct that the intent of COVID-19 planning is a return to pre-pandemic normal, as quickly as practicable?

By what means does current COVID-19 planning have to work towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? On what basis (both for and against) have restrictions and disruptions to normal life, over an extended period of time, been assessed and calculated to be (presumably) of net benefit, compared to alternative courses of action, such as allowing COVID-19 to spread, and reaching natural/acquired herd immunity?

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against, both planned and ongoing) is current COVID-19 planning expected to facilitate a return to pre-pandemic normal? Over what timeline?

Considering growing concerns that COVID-19 vaccines offer limited efficacy over a limited duration, and also considering growing safety concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, what basis (both for and against) is there for relying on COVID-19 vaccinations as a means to return to normal? What other factors are influencing the apparent reliance on COVID-19 vaccines, at the exclusion of all other options?

On what balance of evidence (both for and against) have alternatives to COVID-19 vaccinations been considered for prevention and early treatment protocols, such as those developed by The FLCCC?[2][3]

Are you or your office aware of any other persons, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, organisations, bodies, or individuals, whether or not based in New Zealand, whether or not subject to OIA Requests, which have had influence over any of the matters raised herein? If so, who/what are they?

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

2- https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19...

3- https://covid19criticalcare.com/covid-19...

Please refer to my reference, ASE2021102901, in all replies to this request.

Thank you,

AS Emet

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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Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your request for official information. The Ministry's
reference number for your request is: H202115143.

 

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame.

 

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.

 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [2][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


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Kia ora A S,

 

Thank you for your request for official information, received on 29
October 2021 requesting:

 

“Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017[1] was
the sole or primary government plan for pandemic management, prior to the
COVID-19 pandemic? What other pandemic planning was in place prior to the
COVID-19 pandemic?

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 was
intended to establish a framework for action that can readily be adopted
and applied to any pandemic, irrespective of the nature of the virus and
its severity?

 

Does the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 recognise that people
who recover from a viral disease are likely to acquire natural immunity?
On the balance of evidence (both for and against) is there reason to
believe that this is not the case with COVID-19?

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 is
based on planning around a respiratory virus with a case fatality rate
(CFR) of 2%?

 

In countries/states with populations and healthcare systems comparable to
New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the
case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of
COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median
age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life
expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity,
hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D,
low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease
progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are
associated with each COVID-19 death?

 

Within New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has
been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish
"dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average
and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average
life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity,
hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D,
low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease
progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are
associated with each COVID-19 death?

 

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against) was the
New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 effectively set aside, in
favour of pandemic planning that appears more ad lib? What legal process
was required for such change of plans?

 

What is the current status of COVID-19 pandemic planning? Where can these
plans be found in their entirety? Are these plans being made up ad lib?
How have they evolved thus far?

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 aims
towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of
population health, communities and society where they have been affected
by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal
services? Is it correct that the intent of that plan is a return to
pre-pandemic normal, as quickly as practicable?

 

Does current COVID-19 planning (and variations) aim towards recovery from
a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities
and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic
management measures or disruption to normal services? Is it correct that
the intent of COVID-19 planning is a return to pre-pandemic normal, as
quickly as practicable?

 

By what means does current COVID-19 planning have to work towards recovery
from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health,
communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic,
pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? On what
basis (both for and against) have restrictions and disruptions to normal
life, over an extended period of time, been assessed and calculated to be
(presumably) of net benefit, compared to alternative courses of action,
such as allowing COVID-19 to spread, and reaching natural/acquired herd
immunity?

 

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against, both
planned and ongoing) is current COVID-19 planning expected to facilitate a
return to pre-pandemic normal? Over what timeline?

 

Considering growing concerns that COVID-19 vaccines offer limited efficacy
over a limited duration, and also considering growing safety concerns
about the COVID-19 vaccines, what basis (both for and against) is there
for relying on COVID-19 vaccinations as a means to return to normal? What
other factors are influencing the apparent reliance on COVID-19 vaccines,
at the exclusion of all other options?

 

On what balance of evidence (both for and against) have alternatives to
COVID-19 vaccinations been considered for prevention and early treatment
protocols, such as those developed by The FLCCC?[2][3]

 

Are you or your office aware of any other persons, boards, councils,
committees, subcommittees, organisations, bodies, or individuals, whether
or not based in New Zealand, whether or not subject to OIA Requests, which
have had influence over any of the matters raised herein? If so, who/what
are they?”

 

The Ministry of Health has decided to extend the period of time available
to respond to your request under section 15A of the Official Information
Act 1982 (the Act) as the request is for a large quantity of official
information.

 

You can now expect a response to your request on, or before, 20 December
2021.

 

You have the right, under section 28 of the Act, to ask the Ombudsman to
review my decision to extend the time available to respond to your
request.

 

Ngâ mihi 

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [1][email address]

 

 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

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From: OIA Requests


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Tçnâ koe AS

 

Response to your request for official information

 

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the
Act) to the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) on 29 October 2021 for
information regarding the government response to COVID-19. Each point of
your request is answered in turn.

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017[1] was
the sole or primary government plan for pandemic management, prior to the
COVID-19 pandemic?

 

The New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan: A Framework For Action 2017
(NZIPAP) sets out the all-of government measures to be taken to prepare
for and respond to an influenza pandemic.

 

Individual agencies should have their own response plans, manuals,
handbooks and standard operating procedures based on the NZIPAP, each of
which provides information in addition to that contained in the NZIPAP.

 

You can find the NZIPAP publicly available on the Ministries website:
[1]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action-2nd-edn-aug17.pdf.

 

What other pandemic planning was in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

The National Health Emergency Plan (NHEP) is a key emergency management
document for the health and disability sector. This framework can be
applied to all hazards, including a pandemic. You can find the NHEP
publicly available on the Ministry’s website:
[2]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/national-health-emergency-plan-oct15-v2.pdf.

 

The Exercise Pomare is a national level pandemic readiness exercise that
was held in 2017/18 to enhance all-of-government pandemic readiness. You
can find the post exercise report on the Ministry’s website:
[3]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/exercise-pomare-post-exercise-report-nov18.pdf
.

 

In addition, the Ministry maintains a strategic national reserve supply,
which can be used in support of any pandemic response. You can find more
information regarding the national reserve supplies on the Ministry’s
website:
[4]www.health.govt.nz/our-work/emergency-management/national-reserve-supplies.

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 was
intended to establish a framework for action that can readily be adopted
and applied to any pandemic, irrespective of the nature of the virus and
its severity?

 As above, you can find the NZIPAP on the Ministry’s website:
[5]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action-2nd-edn-aug17.pdf.

 

Does the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 recognise that people
who recover from a viral disease are likely to acquire natural immunity?
On the balance of evidence (both for and against) is there reason to
believe that this is not the case with COVID-19?

 

Regarding antibodies in people who have had COVID-19, please note,
antibody responses can be directed against different parts of the
SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as the spike (S) protein on the surface of the
virus or the nucleocapsid (N) protein that forms the shell of the virus.
There are different types of antibodies, also called immunoglobins (Ig),
that the body produces in response to infection. IgM, IgG, and IgA are
three types of immunoglobins that are produced against the S and N
proteins and can be detected within 1-3 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
IgM and IgG antibodies can arise simultaneously, however, IgM (and IgA)
antibodies decay more rapidly than IgG.

 

What we know so far about antibodies in people who have had COVID-19:

o IgG antibodies produced in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are most
reliably detected two weeks or longer after symptoms begin.
o Not everyone who gets infected produces IgG antibodies; a small
proportion of people do not produce IgG, but may still develop
immunity.
o Studies have shown that IgG can last for several months in previously
infected people, but it is still unknown how long immunity to
SARS-CoV-2 may last.

 

Similar to viral tests, antibody tests checking for immunity can also have
false-positive and false-negative results. They should be used in
appropriate situations and the results need to be interpreted carefully.
For example, the small number of people who have had COVID-19 but didn't
produce IgG might have a false negative result after being tested for
these antibodies, so another test might be required for these individuals.

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 is
based on planning around a respiratory virus with a case fatality rate
(CFR) of 2%?

 

As above, you can find the NZIPAP on the Ministry’s website:
[6]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action-2nd-edn-aug17.pdf.

 

In countries/states with populations and healthcare systems comparable to
New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the
case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of
COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median
age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life
expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity,
hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D,
low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease
progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are
associated with each COVID-19 death?

 

Please note, the Ministry does not hold information regarding other
countries. As such, this part of your request is refused under section
18(g)(i) as the information requested is not held by the Ministry and
there are no grounds for believing it is held by another agency subject to
the Act.

 

Within New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has
been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish
"dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average
and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average
life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity,
hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D,
low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease
progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are
associated with each COVID-19 death?

 

You can find information within scope of this part of your request on the
Ministry’s website here:
[7]www.health.govt.nz/news-media/news-items/further-information-deaths-associated-covid-19.

 

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against) was the
New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 effectively set aside, in
favour of pandemic planning that appears more ad lib? What legal process
was required for such change of plans?

 

While the Act allows New Zealanders to ask for information from Ministers
and government agencies, there is no requirement for agencies to create
new information, compile information they do not hold or provide or prove
an opinion. Your questions and the statements that support them appear
designed to engage in a debate about the Government’s COVID-19 response,
rather than a request for official information. The Act does not support
requests where an opinion, comment, argument, or hypothetical statement is
put to the Ministry for response, couched as a request for information.
These questions are therefore refused under section 18(g) of the Act on
the grounds that the information sought is not held by the Ministry.

 

What is the current status of COVID-19 pandemic planning? Where can these
plans be found in their entirety? Are these plans being made up ad lib?
How have they evolved thus far?

 

New Zealand is in the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the
traffic lights. You can find more information about this on the Unite
Against COVID-19 website:
[8]covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/covid-19-protection-framework/.

 

Is it correct that the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 aims
towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of
population health, communities and society where they have been affected
by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal
services?

 

Is it correct that the intent of that plan is a return to pre-pandemic
normal, as quickly as practicable?

 

As above, you can find the NZIPAP on the Ministry’s website:
[9]www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action-2nd-edn-aug17.pdf.

 

Does current COVID-19 planning (and variations) aim towards recovery from
a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities
and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic
management measures or disruption to normal services? Is it correct that
the intent of COVID-19 planning is a return to pre-pandemic normal, as
quickly as practicable?

 

By what means does current COVID-19 planning have to work towards recovery
from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health,
communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic,
pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? On what
basis (both for and against) have restrictions and disruptions to normal
life, over an extended period of time, been assessed and calculated to be
(presumably) of net benefit, compared to alternative courses of action,
such as allowing COVID-19 to spread, and reaching natural/acquired herd
immunity?

 

On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against, both
planned and ongoing) is current COVID-19 planning expected to facilitate a
return to pre-pandemic normal? Over what timeline?

 

These parts of your request are posing a hypothetical situation to the
Ministry and asking for the Ministry to comment, rather than a request for
information. As above, the Act allows New Zealanders to ask for
information from Ministers and government agencies, there is no
requirement for agencies to create new information, compile information
they do not hold or provide or prove an opinion. The Act does not support
requests where a hypothetical statement is put to the Ministry for
response, couched as a request for information. These questions are
therefore refused under section 18(g) of the Act on the grounds that the
information sought is not held by the Ministry.

 

Considering growing concerns that COVID-19 vaccines offer limited efficacy
over a limited duration, and also considering growing safety concerns
about the COVID-19 vaccines, what basis (both for and against) is there
for relying on COVID-19 vaccinations as a means to return to normal? What
other factors are influencing the apparent reliance on COVID-19 vaccines,
at the exclusion of all other options?

 

Information regarding the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine can be
found on the Ministry of Health website at the following links: 

 

o The Coronavirus Immunisation
handbook: [10]www.health.govt.nz/our-work/immunisation-handbook-2020/5-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.
This also provides references to scientific studies conducted
regarding COVID-19 and the vaccine. 

 

o The Vaccine
datasheet: [11]www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/c/comirnatyinj.pdf. 
o Ministry webpage regarding vaccine safety and
efficacy: [12]www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-effectiveness-and-protection.

 

On what balance of evidence (both for and against) have alternatives to
COVID-19 vaccinations been considered for prevention and early treatment
protocols, such as those developed by The FLCCC?[2][3]

 

As COVID-19 is a viral illness, there is no specific treatment. Most
people who develop COVID-19 will recover fully while isolating at home or
in managed isolation and quarantine and they do not require
hospitalisation. Supportive treatment with fluid, rest, and antifever
medication is useful in aiding recovery and can be successfully managed by
a general practitioner (GP). A GP is best placed to provide care for those
who are recovering from COVID-19 at home, as they are familiar with
underlying conditions that may impact recovery and can manage these
appropriately.

  

For patients who are hospitalised with serious cases of COVID-19, there is
currently one Medsafe approved medication which is dexamethasone. It is an
anti-inflammatory medication that is indicated in the treatment of
COVID-19 for patients who require supplemental oxygen therapy. You can
find the Medsafe datasheet for the approved medicine here:
[13]www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/d/Dexmethsonetab.pdf.

  

Medical practitioners are permitted to use any medicine for a particular
patient in their care at their discretion; however, unapproved medicines
have not been evaluated by Medsafe for safety and efficacy. If your
healthcare professional chose to prescribe other agents to treat a patient
with COVID-19 it would be their responsibility to ensure that they are
aware of any safety issues and that they communicate the risks and
benefits to their patients. See
[14]www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/medicine-approval-process.asp.

  

The Ministry is aware that therapeutics will have a role to play in
managing the pandemic for people who are not vaccinated. Medicines and
other ways to treat and manage patients who have COVID-19 are being
continually developed and researched. You can find more information on
COVID-19 treatments on the Ministry of Health website here:
[15]www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/about-covid-19.

 

Are you or your office aware of any other persons, boards, councils,
committees, subcommittees, organisations, bodies, or individuals, whether
or not based in New Zealand, whether or not subject to OIA Requests, which
have had influence over any of the matters raised herein? If so, who/what
are they?

 

New Zealand’s COVID-19 response is led by the New Zealand Government.
Relevant government agencies provide advice where applicable to their
functions. The Minister for COVID-19 Response is Hon Chris Hipkins.

 

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: [16][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Please note that this response, with your personal details removed, may be
published on the Ministry website at:
[17]www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/information-releases/responses-official-information-act-requests.

 

Nâku noa, nâ

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [18][email address]

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
2. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
3. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
4. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/emerg...
5. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
6. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
7. http://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/new...
8. https://covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/c...
9. http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/d...
10. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/immun....
11. http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datashe...
12. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/disea...
13. http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datashe...
14. http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/medi...
15. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/disea...
16. mailto:[email address]
17. http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry...
18. mailto:[email address]

Link to this

From: ASE

Attention Ministry of Health,

Thank you for the answers you've provided. I am writing to follow up on several questions which were not answered appropriately.

Regarding: 〃In countries/states with populations and healthcare systems comparable to New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D, low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are associated with each COVID-19 death?〃

MOH responded: 〃Please note, the Ministry does not hold information regarding other countries. As such, this part of your request is refused under section 18(g)(i) as the information requested is not held by the Ministry and there are no grounds for believing it is held by another agency subject to the Act.〃

From this, it appears that Ministry of Health does not monitor or consider COVID data from other countries. Is that correct? How does Ministry of Health expect to form and advocate evidence-based policies without monitoring such data? If it is not the role of Ministry of Health to form and advocate such evidence-based policies, whose role is it?

Regarding: 〃Within New Zealand: During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been the case fatality rate of COVID-19? How does that data distinguish "dying of COVID-19" from "dying with COVID-19"? What has been the average and median age of COVID-19 deaths, and how does that compare to average life expectancy? What comorbidities (eg cardiovascular disease, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, low/deficient serum vitamin D, low/deficient serum zinc) stand out as relevant to infection, disease progression or death? On average, how many of those comorbidities are associated with each COVID-19 death?〃

MOH responded: 〃You can find information within scope of this part of your request on the
Ministry’s website here:
[7]www.health.govt.nz/news-media/news-items/further-information-deaths-associated-covid-19.〃

The information available at that link, at the time of this writing, answers none of the questions asked.

Regarding: 〃On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against) was the New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017 effectively set aside, in favour of pandemic planning that appears more ad lib? What legal process was required for such change of plans?〃

MOH responded: 〃While the Act allows New Zealanders to ask for information from Ministers and government agencies, there is no requirement for agencies to create new information, compile information they do not hold or provide or prove an opinion. Your questions and the statements that support them appear designed to engage in a debate about the Government’s COVID-19 response, rather than a request for official information. The Act does not support requests where an opinion, comment, argument, or hypothetical statement is put to the Ministry for response, couched as a request for information. These questions are therefore refused under section 18(g) of the Act on the grounds that the information sought is not held by the Ministry.〃

My question is not the least bit hypothetical, nor is it an attempt to engage in debate. The New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017, which was years, if not decades in the making, appears to have been entirely well suited to COVID-19 response. It makes no mentions of lockdowns, mandatory masks, mandatory (experimental) vaccines/inoculations, "vaccine passports", media subsidies, among other COVID-19 responses that are extraordinary deviations from planning documents, and suspiciously well synchronised with actions taken in other jurisdictions, and even more suspiciously aligned with planning documents associated with the World Economic Forum. There appears to be no evidence-based rationale behind many of the COVID-19 measures which deviated significantly from prior planning. As such, this raises issues of concern relating to public health, human rights, New Zealand's democratic processes, regulatory capture, government capture, and a list of other issues of critical importance.

Regarding: 〃What is the current status of COVID-19 pandemic planning? Where can these plans be found in their entirety? Are these plans being made up ad lib? How have they evolved thus far?〃

MOH responded: 〃New Zealand is in the COVID-19 Protection Framework, also known as the traffic lights. You can find more information about this on the Unite Against COVID-19 website:
[8]covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/covid-19-protection-framework/.〃

This answer addressed only the first part of the question. The remaining parts of the question (regarding the entirety of plans, how they are being formed, and how they have evolved) have not been answered.

Regarding: 〃Does current COVID-19 planning (and variations) aim towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? Is it correct that the intent of COVID-19 planning is a return to pre-pandemic normal, as quickly as practicable?〃, 〃By what means does current COVID-19 planning have to work towards recovery from a pandemic, and expediting the recovery of population health, communities and society where they have been affected by the pandemic, pandemic management measures or disruption to normal services? On what basis (both for and against) have restrictions and disruptions to normal life, over an extended period of time, been assessed and calculated to be (presumably) of net benefit, compared to alternative courses of action, such as allowing COVID-19 to spread, and reaching natural/acquired herd immunity?〃, 〃On what basis (eg what balance of evidence, both for and against, both planned and ongoing) is current COVID-19 planning expected to facilitate a return to pre-pandemic normal? Over what timeline?〃

MOH responded: 〃These parts of your request are posing a hypothetical situation to the Ministry and asking for the Ministry to comment, rather than a request for information. As above, the Act allows New Zealanders to ask for information from Ministers and government agencies, there is no requirement for agencies to create new information, compile information they do not hold or provide or prove an opinion. The Act does not support requests where a hypothetical statement is put to the Ministry for response, couched as a request for information. These questions are therefore refused under section 18(g) of the Act on the grounds that the information sought is not held by the Ministry.〃

Again, My questions are not the least bit hypothetical, nor are they an attempt to engage in debate. The New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan of 2017, which was years, if not decades in the making, appears to have been entirely well suited to COVID-19 response. It makes no mentions of lockdowns, mandatory masks, mandatory (experimental) vaccines/inoculations, "vaccine passports", media subsidies, among other COVID-19 responses that are extraordinary deviations from planning documents, and suspiciously well synchronised with actions taken in other jurisdictions. There appears to be no evidence-based rationale behind many of the COVID-19 measures which deviated significantly from prior planning. As such, this raises issues of concern relating to public health, human rights, New Zealand's democratic processes, regulatory capture, government capture, and a list of other issues.

This is of particular concern, since Chris Hipkins referred to a "new normal" at a press conference on 11 Aug 2021; Ashley Bloomfield referred to a "new normal" on 4 June 2020; and Jacinda Ardern referred to a "new normal" at press conferences on 8 April 2020, 7 May 2020, 6 September 2021, 7 September 2021.

Regarding: 〃Considering growing concerns that COVID-19 vaccines offer limited efficacy over a limited duration, and also considering growing safety concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, what basis (both for and against) is there for relying on COVID-19 vaccinations as a means to return to normal? What other factors are influencing the apparent reliance on COVID-19 vaccines, at the exclusion of all other options?〃

MOH responded: 〃Information regarding the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine can be found on the Ministry of Health website at the following links:〃

The links provided do not address the questions asked.

Regarding: 〃On what balance of evidence (both for and against) have alternatives to COVID-19 vaccinations been considered for prevention and early treatment protocols, such as those developed by The FLCCC?[2][3]〃

MOH responded with a lot of words and no answers to the questions asked. In particular, part of this response stated 〃The Ministry is aware that therapeutics will have a role to play in managing the pandemic for people who are not vaccinated.〃 From that, it appears that MOH believes that only "people who are not vaccinated" would benefit from treatments that are not vaccines/inoculations; is that the case? This raises further questions: Is it the role of Ministry of Health to be actively researching, investigating and/or trialling preventative treatment and early treatment protocols? If this is not the role of Ministry of Health, whose role is it?

Regarding: 〃Are you or your office aware of any other persons, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, organisations, bodies, or individuals, whether or not based in New Zealand, whether or not subject to OIA Requests, which have had influence over any of the matters raised herein? If so, who/what are they?〃

MOH responded: 〃New Zealand’s COVID-19 response is led by the New Zealand Government. Relevant government agencies provide advice where applicable to their functions. The Minister for COVID-19 Response is Hon Chris Hipkins.〃

Can the Ministry of Health explain why Chris Hipkins has not answered any of these questions I've asked, and instead deferred to Ministry of Health?

What exactly is Ministry of Health's role in COVID-19 response? Is it the role of Ministry of Health to provide and advocate evidence-based public health advice to the New Zealand Government? If so, how is that being done? How are conflicts of interest being managed and assessed? Or, is Ministry of Health's role in COVID-19 response to prescribe and disseminate government dictates through a veil of scientific legitimacy? Quite simply, who is in charge, and on what basis are they making decisions?

Thank you,
ASE

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...

 

Please be advised that due dates for requests received from 29 November
2021 onwards take into account the following periods:

 

Christmas (25 December 2021)

Summer Holidays (25 December to 15 January)

New Year's Day (1 January 2022)

Day after News Year's Day (2 January 2022)

 

If you'd like to calculate the due date for your request, 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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ASE left an annotation ()

Complaint filed with Ombudsman.

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ASE left an annotation ()

Complaint filed with Ombudsman.

See also:

Jacinda Ardern - https://fyi.org.nz/annotate/request/1738...

Chris Hipkins - https://fyi.org.nz/annotate/request/1738...

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From: ASE

Attn Ministry of Health,

Please be advised that a recent response to an Official Information Act Request to Chris Hipkins directly contradicts information provided by The Ministry of Health.

Previously, in response to this request for information (MOH reference H202115143), The Ministry of Health stated:

* 〃Please note, the Ministry does not hold [COVID-19] information regarding other countries. As such, this part of your request is refused under section 18(g)(i) as the information requested is not held by the Ministry and there are no grounds for believing it is held by another agency subject to the Act.〃

This statement is directly contradicted by a recent response to an Official Information Act Request to Chris Hipkins, dated 23 Dec 2021, no reference number was assigned by Chris Hipkins:

* 〃Countries that are showing waves of cases where vaccination rates are high-such as Portugal, Iceland, Singapore, the United Kingdom - have been included in several of the Ministry's weekly international perspectives reports. Each report provides a breakdown of current case trends, vaccination rates, hospitalisations and deaths, and public health measures by country. These are provided to me each week.〃

* 〃The Ministry [of Health] monitors the effects of the pandemic ​in other countries. Sources include public data on deaths, hospitalisations and infections and how these are being reduced by vaccination roll-outs; scientific literature, reports on how the virus is mutating and changing in other countries; and information from global networks such as the World Health Organization. The Ministry works directly with their counterparts in Australia to better understand the effects of the pandemic there, and to learn from their experience in minimising its effects. Our pandemic response is also informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' analysis of reports from its network of embassies and consulates.〃

These contradictions are cause for extraordinary concern. At this time, I will be filing another complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Again, this highlights the lack of direction and accountability, and raises the questions: Who is in responsible for researching, forming, advocating, and enacting evidence-based public health policies about COVID-19? It appears that both The Ministry of Health and Chris Hipkins are deferring to each other, and no one is taking responsibility for researching, forming, advocating, and enacting evidence-based public health policies about COVID-19. At best, this is gross negligence.

Hopefully The Ministry of Health can resolve these contradictions and provide the requested documentation before the matter is resolved by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Thank you,
ASE

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ASE left an annotation ()

Another complaint filed with Ombudsman, this one for the information provided by MOH which is directly contradicted by Chris Hipkins.

Link to this

From: OIA Requests



Kia ora 

 

Thank you for your email. The Ministry of Health is closed from Thursday
23 December 2021—Monday 10 January 2022. We will respond to your email
when the Ministry reopens. Thank you for your patience. 

 

OIA requests

Please note that under the Official information Act 1982, the days from 25
December 2021 to Saturday 15 January 2022 (inclusive), are not ‘working
days’ for the purposes of the law and therefore do not form part of the 20
working days required to respond.  For more information on this, please
visit the OIA calculator at: [1]ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

COVID-19 information 

·    for information on the Government’s response to the COVID-19
pandemic, please go to [2]covid19.govt.nz 

·    for information about COVID-19 locations of interest:
[3]health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/contact-tracing-covid-19/covid-19-contact-tracing-locations-interest

·    for information on COVID-19 testing sites:
[4]covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-tracing/covid-19-testing/where-to-get-tested/

·    for information on COVID-19 vaccination (including bookings) go to:
[5]health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines

·    for information on managed isolation, including exemptions from
managed isolation, please go to [6]miq.govt.nz 

 

Emergency services and health information 

·    if you are in an emergency situation, please dial 111 

·    if you require health advice or information, please
call Healthline free 24/7 on 0800 611 116. 

 

Mental health helplines 

If you require [7]mental health assistance please contact one of the
following free national helplines: 

·    1737: free text 24/7. Trained counsellors can offer support for
addiction issues, as well as advice on mental health 

·    the National Depression Helpline: free call 24/7 on 0800 111 757,
text 4202, or online at [8]depression.org.nz 

·    Lifeline: free call 24/7 on 0800 543 354 

·    Samaritans: free call on 0800 726 666. Confidential, non-religious,
and non-judgmental support

 

Ngā mihi 

OIA Services 

 

 

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/
2. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
3. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/disea...
4. https://covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-trac...
5. http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/disea...
6. https://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&...
7. http://mentalhealth.org.nz/
8. http://scanmail.trustwave.com/?c=15517&a...

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Ryan left an annotation ()

Incompetence & ignorance by multiple sectors of the NZ government as they contradict one another & shift focus to deflect accountability.
The fact these questions are not easily answerable by those paid so much to manage the response says it all & then having to wait till they resume after the holidays is an insult.
No transparency or integrity in govt.
Not sufficient information to enable informed consent.

Link to this

From: OIA Requests


Attachment image001.png
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Kia ora,

 

Thank you for your follow up request for official information. The
Ministry's reference number for your request is: H202200115.

 

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Ministry will
endeavour to respond to your request no later than 20 working days after
the day your request was received. If you'd like to calculate the
timeframe, you can use the Ombudsman's online calculator
here: [1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Ministry is experiencing
significantly higher volumes of queries and requests for information. If
we are unable to respond to your request within this time frame, we will
notify you of an extension of that time frame.

 

If you have any queries related to this request, please do not hesitate to
get in touch.

 

Ngā mihi

 

OIA Services

Government Services

Office of the Director-General

Ministry of Health

E: [2][email address]

 

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