“The ACT Party is calling on the Government to have a fair approach to vaccinations after it was revealed “priority access codes for Māori” are being handed out that do not require a booking,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The virus doesn’t discriminate on race, so neither should the rollout.

“Today I’ve seen an email sent to some New Zealanders which says, “you can just turn up and bring the priority access code for Māori.”

“I’ve heard of many people who have had appointments cancelled or have had to wait weeks for vaccinations bookings. Why should some be able to jump the queue, and others have to wait for weeks.

“The truth is that access to vaccination has been the same for people of all ethnic backgrounds. If fewer Māori are vaccinated it can’t be a problem with access, but this move by the Government insinuates that Māori have trouble making a booking.

“This Government policy infantilises one group of New Zealanders and infuriates the rest.

“More worrying, it shows a Government obsessed with racially categorising its citizens. There are large variations in vaccine uptake all over the country, but the lens this Government chooses is race. That can only be divisive, if the Government categorises people by race, how can it guarantee our society will not follow suit over time?

“ACT wants all New Zealanders to have the opportunity to be vaccinated as quickly as possible. Whether you’re Māori, pakeha, Pasifika or Asian. 

“We need to stop dividing New Zealanders against each other and make the rules fair for all.”

Photos of the codes are available here and here