“The Ministry of Health has done the right thing by not handing over the private health information of individuals based on race,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. 

“The effect of a High Court judgement last week 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. 

“ACT applauds the Ministry of Health for refusing to hand over private health information to the likes of John Tamihere. 

“The judgement relied 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.
“Not all Māori want to be a ‘treaty partner.’ Many are proud Māori who also want the same privacy rights as every other New Zealander.  
“By refusing to give away the information. The The Ministry of Health has rightly said it is 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, a $250 tax credit for getting vaccinated, payable now or with your tax return next year.”