This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Official Information Act Request Regarding Excess Deaths and COVID-19 Vaccination in New Zealand'.
Out of Scope
From: Pubudu Senanayake 
Sent: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 11:31 AM
To: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Excess mortality
No worries at all, I think that is a sensible approach. I just have a quick edit to the last para (in line
below in black). Just specifying that we see the effect around March to remove any doubts about
when the excess deaths happened (as opposed to Jan/Feb as claimed by Prof. Gibson).
From: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]> 
Sent: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 11:17 AM
To: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]>
Subject: RE: Excess mortality
Kia ora Pubudu
Thanks so much for this! Really appreciate your input. I’ve spoken to my colleague about using the
graph and we think that for this specific writer, we probably don’t need to go into that much detail,
and can instead inform / persuade the writer enough through the narrative response. Therefore I
have kept the first three paragraphs the same and then altered the fourth to say the analysis is being
done and will be published soon.
I’ve pasted the response below (edited paragraph in red). Let me know if you’re happy with this or if
there’s anything to change  (note I didn’t include that in the preliminary analysis we’ve observed
lower deaths for 2020 and 2021 because that’s mentioned in the first paragraph).
Throughout 2020 and 2021 New Zealand experienced deficit deaths (that is fewer deaths than
expected, had the pre-pandemic trends continued). While New Zealand is currently observing excess
deaths in 2022 (that is more deaths than expected, had the pre-pandemic trends continued), I can
assure you that this is not due to the rollout of booster vaccines, and that receiving a first or second
booster dose does not increase a person’s risk of mortality.
It is important to note that there are many factors that need to be accounted for when analysing
excess mortality, such as population changes and other age effects. Because of this reason
demographers (experts in population dynamics) always deal with and construct models using death
rates (deaths per population). Comparisons of death counts directly without accounting for changes

in rates will almost always lead to inaccurate assessments of excess mortality since population
changes are not uniform across age groups. For example, New Zealand’s 80+ population is growing
much faster than it did even a few years ago.
Another important consideration is that the population receiving boosters have a much higher risk of
death from COVID-19, and the excess mortality observed is largely a result of deaths caused by
COVID-19 circulating in the elderly communities.
An analysis of the observed weekly deaths compared to the expected deaths across the pandemic is
currently going through the peer review process for publication. Preliminary analysis shows that
around March 2022, there was a large increase in deaths above the average expectorations
expectations, which coincides with the Omicron outbreak driven deaths. For an age-specific look at
deaths rates see here (best viewed with Google Chrome):

Out of Scope
From: Pubudu Senanayake 
Sent: Monday, 15 August 2022 9:54 PM 
To: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>; Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>; Antoinette 
Righarts <[email address]> 
Subject: RE: Excess mortality 
Kia ora Cheriyse, 
Apologies, COP ended up being a bit later than I anticipated. The only point of concern for me is that the graph I’m 
attaching (and the one I attached before) isn’t published anywhere. It’s constructed using the rates etc that are 
published, and technically anyone can reconstruct them – but we haven’t done that construction publicly. Would 
MoH be comfortable removing the words “from Statistics New Zealand” from the reply? Otherwise I could try and 
get sign off for the graph this week to say it’s from Stats NZ.  
I’ve embellished your paragraph here – hope that’s ok! 
Throughout 2020 and 2021 New Zealand experienced deficit deaths (that is fewer deaths than expected, had the 
pre-pandemic trends continued). While New Zealand is currently observing excess deaths in 2022 (that is more 
deaths than expected, had the pre-pandemic trends continued), I can assure you that this is not due to the rollout of 
booster vaccines, and that receiving a first or second booster dose does not increase a person’s risk of mortality.  
It is important to note that there are many factors that need to be accounted for when analysing excess mortality, 
such as population changes and other age effects. Because of this reason demographers (experts in population 
dynamics) always deal with and construct models using death rates (deaths per population). Comparisons of death 
counts directly without accounting for changes in rates will almost always lead to inaccurate assessments of excess 
mortality since population changes are not uniform across age groups. For example, New Zealand’s 80+ population is 
growing much faster than it did even a few years ago. 
Another important consideration is that the population receiving boosters have a much higher risk of death from 
COVID-19, and the excess mortality observed is largely a result of deaths caused of COVID-19 circulating in the 
elderly communities.  
For your information, I have attached a graph below from Statistics New Zealand that shows the observed weekly 
deaths compared with the expected deaths across the pandemic. Note the fewer than expected deaths in 2020, and 
to a smaller extent in 2021. Also note that the large increase in deaths above the average expectorations (indicated 
by the white line) coincides with the Omicron outbreak driven deaths. For an age-specific look at deaths rates see 
here (best viewed with Google Chrome):

From: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>  
Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2022 4:29 PM 
To: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]>; Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>; 
Antoinette Righarts <[email address]> 
Subject: RE: Excess mortality 
Kia ora Pubudu 
That’s no problem at all – this isn’t urgent. It’s a direct reply to the writer (not an OIA) so there isn’t a set due date 
we are obliged to meet.  
Based off what you said I have written the fol owing paragraph if you wanted to review this and add / fix any of the 
info. If you could review this by the end of next week that would be great 
While New Zealand is currently observing a higher rate of excess deaths in 2022 compared to 2021, I can assure you 
that this is not due to the rollout of booster vaccines, and that receiving a first or second booster dose does not 
increase a person’s risk of mortality. It is important to note that there are many other statistical factors that need to 
be accounted for when analysing excess mortality, such as population changes and other age effects. Another 
important consideration is that the population receiving boosters have a much higher risk of death from COVID-19, 
and the excess mortality observed is largely a result of this. For your information, I have attached a graph below 
from Statistics New Zealand that shows the observed weekly deaths compared with the expected deaths for 2022. 
Please note that the large increase in deaths coincides with the Omicron outbreak. 
Thank you 
From: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]>  
Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2022 3:51 pm 
To: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>; Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>; Antoinette 
Righarts <[email address]> 
Subject: RE: Excess mortality 
Kia ora Cheriyse, 
What is the turn-around you need on this. I’m just reading through the professors paper … and it’s largely nonsense, 
but it’s couched in a way that seems reasonable. 
The main errors are that he’s not accounting for population changes … or other age effects. E.g., The fact that the 
population receiving boosters also has a much higher risk of death from COVID, and the excess mortality we are 
seeing is largely as a result of that. I’ve attached a figure I was putting together for something else, which shows the 
expected deaths, and observed deaths for 2022. (Note, the big increase in deaths coincides with the Omicron 
I’ll extend that to include 2021 and write a brief note, but it may take me a little while since I have to sort out some 
notes for ministers. 
From: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>  
Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2022 3:29 PM 
To: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]>; Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>; 
Antoinette Righarts <[email address]> 
Subject: RE: Excess mortality 

Thanks so much for your help Fiona & Antoinette 
Pubudu I’ve attached the article with the professor’s claims, but in summary they are saying that excess mortality in 
NZ has increased since December 2021, and since this is when the boosters were rolled out he believes it’s due to 
the cumulative doses of COVID-19 vaccines given.  
A member of the public (s 9(2)(a)
, who is pro vaccine) has written in wanting to know if these statements are 
accurate before getting their second booster dose. So I’m just wanting to get a few lines to describe why the excess 
mortality we’re seeing isn’t the result of the boosters (the rest of the writer’s questions are straightforward to 
Thanks very much 
Ngā mihi nui, 
Cheriyse Hope (she/her) 
Senior Advisor | Kaitohutohu Tōmua 
Office of the Director, Advisory 
National Immunisation Programme 
īmēra: [email address]  
133 Molesworth Street, Wellington 
Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand 
From: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]>  
Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2022 3:14 pm 
To: Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>; Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>; Antoinette 
Righarts <[email address]> 
Subject: RE: Excess mortality 
No worries Fiona, 
I’m just in the middle of writing a few paras about excess deaths in the AM to the PM – so probably similar thoughts. 
What did the professor claim and how can I help? 
From: Fiona Callaghan <[email address]>  
Sent: Thursday, 11 August 2022 3:12 PM 
To: Cheriyse Hope <[email address]>; Antoinette Righarts <[email address]> 
Cc: Pubudu Senanayake <[email address]> 
Subject: Excess mortality 
Kia ora Pubudu 
Heads up that we have another online professor saying ‘wrong things’ about excess mortality -- and we could use 
your help reviewing some lines in response to him 

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From: s 9(2)(a)
Sent: Wednesday, 13 July 2022 4:00 PM 
To: A Verrall (MIN) <[email address]> 
Subject: (1630-2022)Covid - 19 Boosters & Issues as to the efficacy of the further Pfizer Booster Shot & 
Excess Mortality Issues. 
Dear Dr Verrall, 
You will see below, I forwarded an Email to s 9(2)(a)
, on the 6th July, raising some important 
implications associated with further Covid Boosters. 
These concerns were reported in a recent paper by Professor John Gibson of Waikato University, a copy 
of the Paper is attached. 
 Regrettably, I have not had a reply, but we would really appreciate answers to the concerns raised. 
My Wife and I  have dutifully had the three Covid shots to date, have observer Mask Wearing and any 
other protocols required of us. 
Surely, it is not too much to ask to have these important questions answered, so we can make an 
informed decision as to the benefits and possible risks of a second, or subsequent, Pfizer Covid Booster 
We would be grateful if you could have someone in the Health Depart respond to this matter as soon as 
Many Thanks 
Kind Regards 
s 9(2)(a)

Dear s 9(2)(a)
I refer you to the attached Paper posted by Professor John Gibson from the University of Waikato. 
My wife and I are both fully vaccinated, (including the First Booster Shot) against Covid -19 and being in 
our 70’s and not, as yet, having contracted Covid, were intending to get our next Booster shot.
That is, before reading the rather disturbing Paper by Professor John Gibson, which provides more 
detailed information concerning subsequent Booster shots , the fact that these (Unlike Annual Flu Shots) 
are still the original Pfizer/BioNTech BTN 162b2 recipe.
There appear to be serious implications associated with ongoing Booster Shots both in terms of the 
human response, efficacy, and potential for rising excess mortality, particularly in the older cohort.
If Professor Gibson’s concerns are genuine, why is this information not in the Public domain? Why are we 
still seeing various Media urging us to get our Boosters?
It would be invaluable if we could have honest, well researched answers to the issues raised, in 
1.       Is there any evidence that repeated Boosters “fixate” people’s immune system to respond only to 
the Original Wuhan strain 
2.       How effective is the second (and subsequent) Pfizer Booster Shot in protecting us against the more 
recent Variants? 
3.       Are further Booster Shots likely to have fewer benefits and greater harms? 
4.       Is it proven that one of these harms , particularly for the elderly, is likely to be an excess mortality 

We would really appreciate a comprehensive, fact based, response to the foregoing. 
Many Thanks 
s 9(2)(a)