A Statement In Conjunction with Voices For Freedom
Late Amendment to the Vaccinations Order
Late Friday night, the government made a sudden law change amending the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (Vaccination Order (No 3)) by introducing the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing and Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021 (New Order). The link is here.
The main changes in the new order are:
- health care workers mandated to be vaccinated have been redefined
- individual exemptions under clause 7a have been revoked.
1. Changes to health care worker definition.
Last week, we urgently sought clarification from the Ministry of Health about the nonsensical breadth of the Vaccination Order (No 3) that required all health care workers (even those that worked remotely and had no contact with patients) be vaccinated.
This New Order has clarified this with the following definition change of “Health Practitioners” to be “Health practitioners providing health services to patients in person”.
This means a whole group of people who were affected (such as medical typists, or anyone who does not have face to face contact such as those conducting telehealth) are no longer affected by the vaccination mandate and can continue working.
2. Changes to exemptions.
Individual exemptions – clause 7A – revoked
Effective at 11:59pm on Sunday 7 November 2021, the low level broadly available exemption that was available in clause 7A is revoked.
The clause 7A exemption was one that a suitably qualified health practitioner could give having examined and determined that it was inappropriate for an affected worker to be vaccinated because of a “physical or other need”.
Exemptions given for education or health care workers who obtained an exemption pursuant to clause 7A are invalid as of 11:59pm on Sunday 7 November 2021.
Exemptions given for prison workers and those handling affected items are valid until 11:59pm until 21 November 2021.
The new individual exemptions process is covered in clause 9B of the New Order:
- a medical practitioner or Nurse practitioner can apply for an exemption, this must be sent to the Director General for approval
- strict criteria will come out that must be followed. These have not been released yet.
Minister-granted exemptions/exceptions – clause 12A An employer in the educational arena can now apply for an exemption from the Minister where supply of services would be interrupted. Previously, clause 12A exemption could only be applied for by an employer in prisons and health care. However, with the New Order this has been extended to education. These are referred to as exceptions.
What should I do if I’m an exemption provider? New clause 9B.
Exemptions for healthcare workers and teachers will need to be considered under new clause 9B. Criteria is very strict and requires evidence to be provided in many cases. Further information about criteria and process is here.
However, you can still provide exemptions for other workers under informal mandates from their own industries, as we are aware that many industries are mandating the vaccine now. The law change does NOT affect other industries, medical exemptions should still be valid.
You can also continue to give ‘off work’ certificate for stress leave.
What does this mean for those who already have exemptions?
For education or health care workers who obtained an exemption pursuant to clause 7A are invalid as of 11:59pm on Sunday 7 November 2021.
For prison workers or persons who handle affected items that have obtained an exemption can continue working up until 21 November 2021. After this date they may no longer work in a prison or continue in a position that handles affected items.
Are there any other options?
An employer of prison, healthcare worker or in education can apply for a Minister-exemption (as described above) under clause 12A.
Another option is to consider joining the Maori Government of Aotearoa Nu Tireni. They have set up the Wakaminenga Health Council which is an alternative registering body which you could be able to continue working under, once registration is granted. You can pre-enrol on their website to start this process. Then apply to join the Wakaminenga Health Council. This information is given with the caveat that we don’t know how the NZ corporation with respond to this.
What do I do if I am an affected worker?
Before 15 November 2021 we are expecting one, if not two decisions from the High Court that are considering whether the government has the power to mandate vaccination. We are fairly confident that the decision/s will find that the government’s vaccination mandates are illegal and also inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. This could force the government to either change the current law or modify it.
You have a number of options: seek a medical exemption under clause 9B (very narrow criteria, few exemptions will be granted), ask your employer to seek a Minister’s exemption under clause 12A, wait for your employer to terminate you. In the meantime, you can take sick leave or stress leave while you consider your options. Given the severe stress that has been placed on people who are under the vaccination order there is nothing illegitimate about doing this.
The advantages of taking stress leave:
- You use sick leave which would otherwise go unused (if applicable);
- gives you the time to consider your options;
- allows time for the court decisions, which may change everything;
If you are under severe stress you have every right to go to your GP and request an ‘off work’ certificate for stress leave. This does not need to state the reason for your leave. This could either happen this week, or the week after in retrospect. It is common practice for GPs to provide retrospective off work certificates from the date the illness started (in the case of gastroenteritis or flu for example).
We encourage you to hold the line. There are court cases proceeding as we speak which means that the government order mandating the jab could be overturned before 15 November2021.
There is hope. In Quebec, the Minister of Health recently abandoned the vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, stating it would have a “devastating effect” on the system. This despite a 97% vaccination rate since the mandates were first announced. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of us who are currently not vaccinated and if we all leave together it may be that the same thing happens here.
This is a trying time of uncertainty and confusion for many. It could be argued that we are living this for a reason and that together we will build a better tomorrow. Remember, there are thousands of us. We encourage you to connect with-
- Your loved ones, and all humans
- Nature with her healing powers
- Your spiritual belief