"Justified limits" on the freedoms and rights of New Zealanders for a disease with 1 percent infection fatality rate

Erika Whittome made this Official Information request to David Parker

Response to this request is long overdue. By law David Parker should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Erika Whittome

Dear David Parker (Attorney-General),

In the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, clause 32c, (c) says:
the prescribed charges do not limit or are justified limits on the rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

1. As Attorney General, were you aware that the infection fatality rate for those under 70 years of age is less than 1 percent in OECD according to the WHO? Here is the World Health Organization report:

https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/99/...

I note that this WHO report was published before the rollout of the Pfizer vaccination in 2021. This WHO report was published online: 14 October 2020.

As of 29 Mar 2022 there are over 518,405 recovered cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and also an infection fatality rate of less than 1 percent with 266 deceased for ALL AGE groups: https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-nove... as of 29 Mar 2022.

2. Are the current emergency "orders" for Covid-19 justified based on the very low infection fatality rate in New Zealand for the Covid-19 virus? (The infection fatality rate was 1 percent for ALL age groups at the end of 2020 according to MoH statistics
https://web.archive.org/web/202012270218.... On 27 Dec 2020 there were 2144 recovered cases and 25 deceased ALL age groups).

3. Are the current Covid-19 orders still justified to breach the following NZ BORA?
a) NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 , S13 Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

b) Bill of Rights Act 1990 , S11 Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment
Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.

I understand these orders are to be reviewed every 3 months.
4. When was the last review and kindly share the meeting minutes of this last review please?

Yours faithfully,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: D Parker (MIN)
David Parker

Thank you for contacting the office of Hon David Parker, Attorney General,
Minister for the Environment, Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Minister
of Revenue, and Associate Minister of Finance.

Please note that as Minister Parker receives large amounts of
correspondence, it is not always possible to personally reply to all
emails.

The following guidelines apply:

⒋         Portfolio related correspondence will be considered and
responded to where appropriate.

⒋         If your email is an invitation or request to meet with the
Minister, your request will be processed and a staff member will be in
contact in due course. As the Minister receives a high volume of
invitations, it is not always possible to respond immediately.

⒋         Media queries will be responded to by a staff member.

⒋         Requests for official information will be managed in
accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982, which
may include a transfer to a more relevant Minister or agency. 

⒋         If your email falls outside of the Minister's portfolio
responsibilities, your correspondence may be transferred to another
office.

⒋         If your email expresses a personal view, or is copied to
multiple Members of Parliament, then your opinion will be noted and there
may be no further response.

 

Regards

Office of Hon David Parker

Office of Hon David Parker MP | Attorney-General | Minister for the
Environment | Minister for Oceans and Fisheries | Minister of Revenue |
Associate Minister of Finance

Authorised by Hon David Parker MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

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From: D Parker (MIN)
David Parker

Dear Erika

 

I refer to your Official Information Act request below.

 

We have transferred your request to Minister Hipkins. The information to
which your request relates is believed to be more closely connected with
his portfolio responsibilities. In these circumstances, we are required by
section 14 of the Official Information Act to transfer your request.

 

You will hear further from his office concerning your request.

 

Office of Hon David Parker

 

Office of Hon David Parker MP | Attorney-General | Minister for the
Environment | Minister for Oceans and Fisheries | Minister of Revenue |
Associate Minister of Finance

 

Authorised by Hon David Parker MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

 

 

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Erika Whittome

Dear D Parker (MIN),

This request is for the Attorney-General which I believe is you. Please do not pass the buck.

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: D Parker (MIN)
David Parker

Thank you for contacting the office of Hon David Parker, Attorney General,
Minister for the Environment, Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Minister
of Revenue, and Associate Minister of Finance.

Please note that as Minister Parker receives large amounts of
correspondence, it is not always possible to personally reply to all
emails.

The following guidelines apply:

⒋         Portfolio related correspondence will be considered and
responded to where appropriate.

⒋         If your email is an invitation or request to meet with the
Minister, your request will be processed and a staff member will be in
contact in due course. As the Minister receives a high volume of
invitations, it is not always possible to respond immediately.

⒋         Media queries will be responded to by a staff member.

⒋         Requests for official information will be managed in
accordance with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982, which
may include a transfer to a more relevant Minister or agency. 

⒋         If your email falls outside of the Minister's portfolio
responsibilities, your correspondence may be transferred to another
office.

⒋         If your email expresses a personal view, or is copied to
multiple Members of Parliament, then your opinion will be noted and there
may be no further response.

 

Regards

Office of Hon David Parker

Office of Hon David Parker MP | Attorney-General | Minister for the
Environment | Minister for Oceans and Fisheries | Minister of Revenue |
Associate Minister of Finance

Authorised by Hon David Parker MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

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Luke C left an annotation ()

1 Parts 2 and 3 of your request ask for an opinion, which is not the purpose of making a request for official information. In response to part 3, if you are asking an opinion, Minister Parker would probably write back and say "Yes".

2. I am disappointed that Minister Parker's office want to transfer the request as most of the request relates to the NZBORA considerations. But I am also wondering if your request could have been re-written to simply ask for information rather than asking for an opinion.

3. As an aside, the reason the infection fatality rate may be low (less than 1%) could be because of the suite of measures in the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020. It would be interesting to know what the fatality rate was in jurisdictions where that jurisdiction did not have the measures that are in the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

Link to this

From: C Hipkins (MIN)
David Parker

Dear Erika Whittome

Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) that was partially transferred from the Attorney-General, Hon David Parker on 30 March 2022. You have requested:

"Are the current emergency "orders" for Covid-19 justified based on the very low infection fatality rate in New Zealand for the Covid-19 virus?

Are the current Covid-19 orders still justified to breach the following NZ BORA?
NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, S13 Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

Bill of Rights Act 1990, S11 Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.

I understand these orders are to be reviewed every 3 months.
When was the last review and kindly share the meeting minutes of this last review please?"

It has been decided under section 15A of the Act to extend the time limit for deciding on your request by an additional 10 working days. Consequently, the extended due date for a response will be 16 May 2022. The extension is required because of the consultations needed to make a decision on your request. Despite the extension, a response will be sent to you as soon as possible.

You have the right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate and review this decision under section 28(3) of the Act.

Regards,

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

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: C Hipkins (MIN)
David Parker

Dear Erika Whittome

I refer to your request under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) that was partially transferred from the Attorney-General, Hon David Parker to Minister Hipkins on 30 March 2022. You requested:

"Are the current emergency "orders" for Covid-19 justified based on the very low infection fatality rate in New Zealand for the Covid-19 virus?

Are the current Covid-19 orders still justified to breach the following NZ BORA?
NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, S13 Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

Bill of Rights Act 1990, S11 Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.

I understand these orders are to be reviewed every 3 months.
When was the last review and kindly share the meeting minutes of this last review please?"

It has been decided under section 15A of the Act to extend the time limit for deciding on your request by an additional 10 working days. Consequently, the extended due date for the Minister's response will be 16 May 2022.

The extension is required because of the consultations needed to make a decision on your request. Despite the extension, a response will be sent to you as soon as possible.

You have the right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate and review this decision under section 28(3) of the Act.

Regards

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

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: C Hipkins (MIN)
David Parker


Attachment OIA0680 Erika Whittome.pdf
403K Download View as HTML


Dear Erika,

Please find attached letter from Hon Chris Hipkins in response to your email of 30 March 2022.

Kind regards,

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

From: Erika Whittome [mailto:[FOI #19003 email]]
Sent: Tuesday, 29 March 2022 5:13 PM
To: D Parker (MIN) <[email address]>
Subject: Official Information request - "Justified limits" on the freedoms and rights of New Zealanders for a disease with 1 percent infection fatality rate

Dear David Parker (Attorney-General),

In the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, clause 32c, (c) says:
the prescribed charges do not limit or are justified limits on the rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

1. As Attorney General, were you aware that the infection fatality rate for those under 70 years of age is less than 1 percent in OECD according to the WHO? Here is the World Health Organization report:

https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/99/...

I note that this WHO report was published before the rollout of the Pfizer vaccination in 2021. This WHO report was published online: 14 October 2020.

As of 29 Mar 2022 there are over 518,405 recovered cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and also an infection fatality rate of less than 1 percent with 266 deceased for ALL AGE groups: https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-nove... as of 29 Mar 2022.

2. Are the current emergency "orders" for Covid-19 justified based on the very low infection fatality rate in New Zealand for the Covid-19 virus? (The infection fatality rate was 1 percent for ALL age groups at the end of 2020 according to MoH statistics https://web.archive.org/web/202012270218.... On 27 Dec 2020 there were 2144 recovered cases and 25 deceased ALL age groups).

3. Are the current Covid-19 orders still justified to breach the following NZ BORA?
a) NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 , S13 Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt and to hold opinions without interference.

b) Bill of Rights Act 1990 , S11 Right to refuse to undergo medical treatment Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.

I understand these orders are to be reviewed every 3 months.
4. When was the last review and kindly share the meeting minutes of this last review please?

Yours faithfully,

Erika Whittome

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From: Erika Whittome

Dear C Hipkins (MIN),
I asked the attorney general to reply to this OIA. There is no response addressing the very low infection fatality rate for the SARS Corona virus . It appears transmission reduction is cited in your latest response, however my earlier OIA does not have an answer on whether the Pfizer vaccination even reduces transmission. https://fyi.org.nz/request/17003-does-th...

Yours sincerely,

Erika Whittome

Link to this

From: C Hipkins (MIN)
David Parker

Thank you for your email.

 

Please accept this as acknowledgement that your email has been received by
my office.

 

General COVID-19 information and testing

All the latest COVID-19 information can be found at [1]covid19.govt.nz

For information on testing go
to [2]https://covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-trac...

You can also call Healthline free on 0800 611 116 for health advice and
information at any time.

 

Vaccination

To get your COVID-19 vaccination head
to [3]bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz or to the [4]Healthpoint website to
find a vaccination site near you.  

Getting your booster is as important as ever. Even if you aren’t due yours
yet, book it in now at the website above.

COVID-19 Protection Framework

The COVID-19 Protection Framework has been simplified. For information
about what to do at Orange go
to: [5]https://covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/l...

If you have questions about the traffic light system, you can [6]make an
enquiry here.    

 

We appreciate your patience. 

Thanks again.
Authorised by Chris Hipkins MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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References

Visible links
1. https://covid19.govt.nz/
2. https://covid19.govt.nz/testing-and-trac...
3. https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/
4. https://www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-v...
5. https://covid19.govt.nz/traffic-lights/l...
6. https://covid19.govt.nz/about-this-site/...

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