Website editor’s note: This is the first year that No Forced Vaccines has sent out an election questionnaire. We felt that it was necessary to do this because the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act could be used to facilitate mandatory vaccination in New Zealand. The fact that Housing Minister Megan Woods was filmed in Parliament
during the Committee stage of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill on August 5, 2020 stating that the legislation “could in the future include the requirement that someone is vaccinated” provides further cause for concern.

Results of the No Forced Vaccines NZ 2020 Election Questionnaire

In early August 2020, every political party known to be participating in the 2020 general election was invited to complete a questionnaire on the issue of vaccination policy. Emails were sent to the health spokesperson — or a general party contact where a specific health spokesperson could not be identified — on August 3rd (most parties) or August 11th (some of the minor parties for whom contact information was harder to obtain).

This email stated:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Please find attached a pre-election questionnaire from No Forced Vaccines which is being sent to the health spokespeople of political parties in New Zealand. (If you are not the health spokesperson for your party, we would appreciate your forwarding this message to your party’s spokesperson for this issue.)

The results of this questionnaire will be shared on our website www.noforcedvaccines.org and also via our email newsletter. The date for response is August 15.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this questionnaire.

Kind regards,

Mischele Rhodes
Spokesperson, No Forced Vaccines

What we wanted to know

The questionnaire consisted of eight questions covering issues such as:

  • The party vaccination policy
  • Support for bonuses to GPs for reaching certain quotas of vaccinated patients
  • COVID-19 vaccine policy and willingness to amend Section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act (which as it stands could be used to make vaccination mandatory)
  • Whether a party supported people being required to be vaccinated for certain jobs
  • Reporting of adverse reactions and compensation for vaccine injury
  • Financial coercion of parents to vaccinate

You can download a copy of the questionnaire here. Please note that the 8th question, on parental right to choose, was emailed out separately at a later date. Some respondents did not reply to this final question.

The responses

The parties who responded to us by the deadline, were (in order of response received):

  • National
  • Social Credit
  • Vision
  • One Party
  • Outdoors Party

Labour responded by the deadline to say that they did not have time to respond. However, a full response was received by the end of the month.

Highlights of the different parties’ positions

National

Overall position: “The National Party supports routine vaccinations as recommended by health officials”

Support bonuses to GPs around vaccination quotas? Yes

COVID-19 vaccination policy? Yes

“If a coronavirus vaccine becomes available as a recommended vaccine that meets criteria with MedSafe, PHARMAC and the Ministry of Health then the National Party will support that recommendation”

Amendment to current law? Neither “yes or no” chosen.

“Any legislative support requires the approval of caucus, in principle however, we are not in favour of forced vaccination and believe that if we give parents and adults the best information then they will make the right choice. We back parents.”

Rights of parents to make vaccine decisions for children (without financial coercion)? Yes

Download full response here.

Ed note: In relation to the response from the National party by Dr. Shane Reti, who would be the obvious choice for a Minister of Health should National be able to form the next government, this profile piece provides background information about Dr. Reti, including the fact that he supports water fluoridation (which can be considered a form of mandatory medication considering how difficult it is to avoid consuming fluoridated water if you would rather not drink it).

Social Credit

Overall position: “Protect the individual’s right to refuse medication”

Support bonuses to GPs around vaccination quotas? No

COVID-19 vaccination policy? Yes (no details provided)

Amendment to current law? Yes (no details provided)

ACC inquiry and vaccine compensation? Neither yes or no chosen.

“We support a much wider inquiry into the way ACC handles claims generally, a fully funded health care system, and much more emphasis and education on illness prevention.”

Download full response here.

Vision

Overall position: “we do not support any policy, legislation or inducement that coerces or requires parents to vaccinate their child/children*.*”

COVID-19 vaccination policy? No

Amendment to current law? Yes

“It is a parents right and responsibility to make choices and decisions for their child/children’s wellbeing, life and future.”

Mandatory reporting of adverse reactions? Yes

Rights of health care and other workers to refuse vaccination: Yes

Download full response here.

One Party

Overall position: “Respect for autonomy: fully informed consent and empowering the patient’s decision”

Support bonuses to GPs around vaccination quotas? No

“No coercion”

COVID-19 vaccination policy? Yes

“As a Christian party we do not support any vaccination, especially an untried one.”

Amendment to current law? Yes

“Freedom of choice”

Rights of parents to make vaccine decisions for children (without financial coercion)? Yes

Download full response here.

Outdoors Party

Overall position: “We defend the right of every person/parent/legal guardian to decline invasive medical procedures and interventions, including vaccination, or to access alternative treatment for their child with no resultant punitive action.”

COVID-19 vaccination policy? Yes

“This new vaccine will be essentially useless — as the SARS-CoV-2 test is unreliable with false positives and false negatives, and citizens are not being tested for anti-bodies to this virus, this would be a massive experiment on the health of our people.”

Amendment to current law? “Yes and No”

“…instead of amending the ridiculous COVID-19 Public Health Response Act, we will uphold the NZ Bill of Rights and The Health and Disability Commission that enshrines our right to refuse medical treatments and not be discriminated against if we refuse medical treatments for both ourselves and our children.”

Mandatory reporting of adverse reactions? Yes

“The Outdoors Party will direct the Centre for Adverse Reaction Monitoring (CARM — the centre that monitors drug reactions in New Zealand) to be highly proactive in reporting the adverse effects and interactions of medications. This will enable CARM to initiate immediate actions to protect the health of our people.”

ACC inquiry and vaccine compensation? Yes

Yes, if we get into parliament we will implement a thorough review of the ACC ‘no fault policy’ that allows medical misadventure to continue unchallenged and unopposed… it is time to make medicine and the pharmaceutical industry more accountable for their actions.”

Download full response here.

Labour

“No” to a formal policy. Later in response: “Jacinda Ardern indicated she does not support mandatory vaccination in New Zealand: ‘it is on everyone’s individual risk — if they choose not to [vaccinate] they are putting their own health at risk’.”

COVID-19 vaccination policy? Yes

“The government has allocated significant extra funding, in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars, to access a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.” See more here.

Amendment to current law? No

“Such an amendment is unnecessary, as section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 is unlikely to meet the threshold for overriding section 11 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 – the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment.”

Rights of health care and other workers to refuse vaccination: Yes

“Medical professionals are entitled to make their own choices pertaining to their own healthcare, provided their choices do not endanger others, such as if they refused to wear appropriate PPE when engaging with patients, or not take leave when unwell.”

Mandatory reporting of adverse reactions? No

“Allergic reactions are not communicable diseases, and are therefore not notifiable.”

Download full response here.

Ed note: In relation to the response from the Labour party, please note that the comment “Such an amendment is unnecessary, as section 11 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 is unlikely to meet the threshold for overriding section 11 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 – the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment” is NOT consistent with Minister Megan Woods’s statement in parliament that the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill was “future-proofed” in order that it
“could in the future include the requirement that someone is vaccinated”

Other parties’ stances

Advance NZ

One party that did not answer the questionnaire but which has gone on record as supporting vaccine choice is Advance NZ/NZPP. This party also has a very fulsome COVID-19 policy which includes a stance that any future vaccine not be made mandatory.

New Conservative Party

Another party that did not answer the questionnaire but which has gone on record as supporting vaccine choice is the New Conservative Party which includes the following statement on the health policy page of its website: “​ensure vaccinations are not made mandatory, but remain a personal choice for adults and a parental choice for children”.

ACT

ACT is one of the parties which have made statements which would appear to indicate they are NOT for vaccine choice. ACT leader, David Seymour, endorsed the Welfare Working Group proposal for all or nothing parental “choice” regarding vaccination in 2015 and last year (2019) publicly endorsed no jab, no pay.

TOP


TOP is one of the parties that appears which would appear to indicate they are NOT for vaccine choice. The party’s health policy includes the following statement:
“TOP agrees with the current evidence based approach of fluoridating water to prevent tooth decay and providing free universal vaccinations to prevent serious disease.”

TOP made no response to the No Forced Vaccines questionnaire but when invited to complete a pre-election questionnaire in relation to another issue, a spokesperson recently wrote, “As a Political Party advocating for quality researched and scientifically based policy we don’t engage with conspiracy theories like anti-5G, anti-vaccine, Covid Plandemic, etc.”

NB: If you are not a member of No Forced Vaccines but would like to become a member please see the following link:http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/join-us/