No consent forms for Astra Zeneca vaccinations at Te Awa/The Base Vaccination Centre in Hamilton

M.R.M. made this Official Information request to Chris Hipkins

The request was refused by Chris Hipkins.

From: M.R.M.

Dear Chris Hipkins,


As far as I know the government knew as early as July this year that it had placed an order for Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccinations. It has also known since 18 November 2021 that the Astra Zeneca vaccinations had arrived on New Zealand soil. Against this background a family member booked an Astra Zeneca vaccination appointment for Monday this week (27 November 2021).

As it was felt that extra time was needed to complete anticipated paperwork, she arrived at the Te Awa/The Base Vaccination Centre in Hamilton at 11:40 a.m. for the 12.00 a.m. appointment Standing behind a couple who were firstly told to sanitize their hands and who were then led away to the waiting area, the family member did not realize that the mask she ought to have been wearing had been left in her car, and that she was therefore maskless. The person who approached her did not - a) tell her to sanitize her hands, and b) did not ask her where her mask was. After being asked if she wanted to be in a draw to win a small, plastic looking, clock - which invitation she declined - she was then told to fill in a flimsy piece of paper (slightly larger than a business card) with her name and date of birth. From there she was led to a table where she was told to sit down and fill in "the consent form." It was immediately noticed that the form had handwriting across the top which had been highlighted (with a marker) and that the words read; "Astra Zeneca." She queried this and was told that the Ministry of Health had not supplied the consent forms for the Astra Zeneca vaccinations, and, that they had decided to use the Pfizer forms and just cross out the word Pfizer that appeared in the consent form heading.

On reading through and completing the form the family member discovered that there were two other references to Pfizer that had not been altered. She was not happy with signing a form that was clearly for use with Pfizer vaccinations and not Astra Zeneca vaccinations, and, she said this. She was then told that an amended form was being organized and that she would need to wait at least 50 minutes for the correct form to be sent through to the Te Awa/The Base Vaccination Centre from the Ministry of Health in Wellington. She was not happy about needing to wait this length of time but felt she had no alternative because the appointment was booked and she worried she would lose her place, and possibly a chance at having the Astra Zeneca vaccination, if she did not wait.

On moving to the waiting area she found herself in a group of three other people who had also told the same things as outlined above. After almost an hour's wait, new consent forms were provided to the family member and the three other aforementioned persons. It was noted that this form did not bear the Astra Zeneca name where the Pfizer name had been on the original form, and that in fact the entire consent heading had been removed along too. It was also later noted by the vaccinator that the proof of vaccination card (business card size) handed to the family member subsequently had Pfizer printed on it but not Astra Zeneca.

The family member was also very concerned that the consent form with Pfizer printed on it had printing on the back of the same form (in other words the form was a single page) whereas the consent form with Astra Zeneca printed on it had a separate, second, page with the same aforementioned printed on it, but that the second page was not stapled to the first page. Having asked for the two pages to be stapled together, the vaccinator used a 'gem clip' for this purpose which did not help as the potential for pages 1 and 2 to become dislodged from one was not diminished as would have been the case had the two pages been stapled together.

Notably, and most worringly, it was only when the family member sat down - after waiting an hour for her vaccination - at the vaccinator's table that she was asked where her mask was, and, at which time she remembered leaving it in her car by mistake and was offered a disposable one.

A further concern was that each time someone stood up and walked away from a plastic chair in the waiting area, a staff member would remove one or two sanitized wipes from a packet of them lying on a table at the front of the waiting area, walk over to the empty chair and wipe it down ... not doing a careful or thorough job of this important task, and, crucially without wearing any gloves to protect themselves from potential infection with Covid-19 ... why else were the chairs being wiped down? Those wipes were then tossed into a near overflowing, small, dirt bin standing next to the aforementioned desk ... when any one of the wipes could have been contaminated with Covid-19 and ought to have been treated the same way as Covid-19 medical waste is.

Disconcertingly the family member was told by the vaccinator that Pfizer is the government's preference for Covid-19 vaccination, and from the get-go (after she was given a disposable mask that is) she was asked why she had decided to have the Astra Zeneca vaccination rather than the Pfizer vaccinaton. Notwithstanding that this was private and confidential information that she ought not to have been questioned about, it made her feel that she was 'going against the grain' of what the government wants for New Zealanders.

Lastly, two of the three abovementioned other people were heard complaining about needing to get back to work and being delayed by the above described unnecessary and entirely unavoidable disorganisation.


1. Why did the Ministry of Health fail to recognize that the Pfizer vaccination paperwork - e.g. consent form and proof of vaccination card - needed to be amended for the Astra Zeneca vaccination roll-out effective Monday 27 November 2021.

2. Bearing in mind that the family member arrived at 11:40 a.m. and was told shortly thereafter that she needed to wait at least 50 minutes for the amended form to be organized, and that this was hours after the Te Awa/The Base Vaccination Centre opened to the public on Monday 27 November 2021 for Pfizer vaccinations, why did no-one from the Ministry of Health and the Te Awa/The Base Vaccination Centre in Hamilton do a quick and simple check early that morning - in anticipation of the Astra Zeneca vaccination roll-out - to ensure that the relevant paperwork was readily available?

3. Can a directive please be arranged to instruct vaccinators not to direct statements at vaccination recipients in terms of the Pfizer vaccination being the government's preference, and, vaccination recipients being asked why they prefer the Astra Zeneca, or any other, vaccination over the Pfizer vaccination?

Yours faithfully,


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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. However, please note that
this is an automatic response and we will endeavour to respond to your
individual queries as soon as we can.

You can find the latest information and guidance about Alert Levels at
The locations of interest are set out
at [2]
encourage anyone who has been at one of the locations of interest at the
time specified to self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. You
can find the nearest testing centre to you
at [3]

We appreciate that this is a challenging time. If you need to talk, you
can call or text 1737 at any time. Mental health and wellbeing resources
are also available
at [4]
about the financial support available to individuals and businesses can be
found at [5]

We also understand that there are several other aspects to the response
that are very important to people. You can find more information about:

o Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ)
at [6], including how to request an emergency
at [7]
make a complaint or request a review of your application by
emailing [8]
o Travel with Australia
at [9]
you are in Australia, please register
at [10] and if it is an emergency,
contact the Consulate on +64 99 20 20 20.
o Vaccines at [11], including
how to book your vaccine
at [12] by calling 0800 28
29 26.
o Vaccine data and statistics
at [13]
Medsafe’s vaccine safety monitoring reports
at [14]
o The Government’s plan to reconnect New Zealand with the rest of the
at [16]

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: Yuuki Smithers

Kia ora M.R.M

Thank you for your request for official information. The Minister’s Office reference number for your request is: CHOIA179

As required under the Official Information Act 1982, the Office 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:

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the Office 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.

Ngâ mihi

Yuuki Smithers | 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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