“Mass disclosure of deception” Winston Peters slams Government’s 11,000 vaccine exemptions granted to health workers

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 09, 2023 |


The SSD exemptions were valid for up to six months. An Official Information Act Request has been made for more information.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has condemned the Labour Government after 11,000 health related workers received vaccine exemptions, while the public faced relentless pressure to ‘get the jab.’

In an Official Information Act release, Matt Hannant Interim Director, Prevention National Public Health Service Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand said from 13 November 2021 to 26 September 2022, a total of 478 applications for Significant Service Disruption exemption (SSD) were received.

“103 applications were granted, covering approximately 11,005 workers” Hannant said.

Hannant said “please note that it is not possible to provide the exact number of workers that were covered by SSDs.

“This is because it was possible for an organisation to submit an application to cover more than one worker.”

A Significant Service Disruption exemption was granted to people infected with COVID-19, those with serious adverse reaction to an earlier dose of the vaccine, those unable to be vaccinated without risk to self or others (e.g. due to a severe neurodevelopment condition), those who had anaphylaxis to the first dose of Pfizer (This criteria will be removed once AstraZeneca is available), those with inflammatory cardiac illness within the last 6 months and those with a pre-existing acute decompensated heart failure.

It was valid for up to 6 months.

In a subsequent Official information Act release Rachel Mackay Acting Interim Director, Prevention National Public Health Service Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand said the exemptions were for “health-related” work.

Winston Peters told Chris Lynch Media “I had great difficulty believing it was true.

“But I understand that is true, which shows the discrimination where people were just mandated out of their jobs whilst these exemptions were taking place.

“There were the odd cases that were challenging this, and two of them were successful, but this is a mass disclosure of deception and discrimination, and it’s not just matter of conspiracy theorists going down a rabbit hole.

“If the mainstream media can’t see how seriously dysfunctional and discriminating it was towards people who had a legitimate purposes and had the right to say I don’t agree, then they don’t deserve to be in their jobs” Peters said.

Health Minister Ayesha Verrall was approached for comment, but her office said questions by Chris Lynch Media were “very operational” and the Ministry of Health would be best placed to comment.

A Ministry of Health senior advisor told Chris Lynch Media “this is for Te Whatu Ora to respond to as they hold the relevant information.”

A Te Whatu Ora spokeswoman said “as these questions are fairly complex I have forwarded your request to the OIA team. You will hear from them in due course.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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