Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Māori privacy rights breached by judgement

“The effect of a High Court judgement that Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency should have access to Māori data to try to lift vaccination rates is that Māori have a different and lesser right to privacy due to the Treaty of Waitangi,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The judgement relies on the Ministry of Health’s own commitment to upholding the Treaty in its COVID response, but the result is that if you are Māori – your privacy is eroded.

“The question is how a person is included in this judgement? If you ticked Māori when you registered with your doctor, will you now have your details given to John Tamihere?

“It may come as a surprise to the Courts, Mr Tamihere, and the Ministry of Health, but not all Māori want to be a ‘treaty partner.’ What if you are proud to be Māori but also want the same privacy rights as every other New Zealander? Under this judgement, that’s not an option.

“The Ministry of Health should respond by rescinding its statements about the Treaty of Waitangi, saying they are committed to treating all New Zealanders equally before the law.

“If the Government wants to get hard to reach people vaccinated, instead of racially profiling them, it should adopt ACT’s Vax Break policy, $250 tax credit for getting vaccinated, payable now or with your tax return next year.”