Silencing a Hero: Dr. Peter Canaday’s Battle for Freedom of Speech


This article is part of a series on doctors silenced by health authorities in New Zealand.

One doesn’t think to question the right to free speech in a democratic society. It’s a treasured fundamental right. And in medicine it is expected and previously cultivated–at least it was until the pandemic hit New Zealand. 

A disturbing trend emerged during that time that saw the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) quickly censor any doctor who offered a contrary opinion to their carefully scripted agenda. 

One of the first doctors to be hit with silencing was Dr. Peter Canaday, M.D. 

His case has sent shockwaves throughout New Zealand with its paradigm-changing implications. 

The MCNZ is challenging his fundamental right to express his medical opinions. But ultimately, the right to free speech for everyone is in question and the decision on his case is eagerly anticipated. 

In a riveting interview with Dr. Emanuel E. Garcia, Dr. Canaday unveils his experience of being threatened, silenced from speaking against the propaganda, and the erosion of free speech in New Zealand.

Dr. Peter Canaday, challenging New Zealand’s Medical Council, advocates for free speech and open dialogue about pandemic responses, drawing from his rich medical background

Uniquely Experienced

Dr. Canaday’s career of nearly 50 years spans both the United States and New Zealand. With expertise in the separate disciplines of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM), and Radiology, he’s held esteemed positions throughout his medical career, including Chair of a Department of Internal Medicine. 

Ever willing to embrace change and fulfill a bucket list dream, he resided primarily in New Zealand from 2013, where he worked for a District Health Board (DHB) until his retirement in March 2021.

A Unique Perspective

As the world grappled with the arrival of the pandemic, Dr. Canaday’s extensive qualifications and experience in pulmonary and critical care gave him a unique perspective to the situation. 

“Because I had a clinical background in pulmonary and critical care, I had…the perspective that you hope a physician is going to have when you go talk to them for advice on this whole matter of what is Covid, what do I need to take, and all of that. So I was speaking not just as a radiologist and as an academic person, but as somebody that had seen patients, literally for 12 years in my earlier career.”

Prior to the pandemic, a coronavirus was considered no more than a respiratory cold that only needed grandma’s chicken soup and rest. So he was circumspect when the government expected extreme lockdowns to eliminate a respiratory virus of a type that had been in the population for generations. 

The responses from the government and the MCNZ were an overreaction in the greatest sense.

“…the essential principles of epidemiology were just not being followed.”

The principles of first do no harm, informed consent, and individualised treatment were obliterated with the mandated vaccine. 

“I also had this sense that, wait a second, we’re seeing the apparent violation of basic principles that we all learned in medical school.”

Basic common medical sense was being crushed under the heel of the MCNZ. That’s when Dr. Canaday felt professionally and morally obliged by his oaths as a doctor to be a voice upholding those ethics. So few could be heard, and even fewer could have an impact. But he had to try.

Public Thirst for The Full Story

Dr. Canaday was invited to give a presentation to a local group to share his insights into Covid in June 2021. 

From that first lecture, public thirst for knowledge grew and he embarked on a speaking tour of 16 events throughout New Zealand. The presentation evolved during that time to reflect the questions raised and his consequent research.  

“People wouldn’t come to these presentations if they didn’t have some concern that they were not receiving the full story. And so that was the whole thrust and the motivation for me to be doing this in the first place.”

He advocated for respectful dialogue, rigorous questioning of science (which is what his profession was built upon), and exploring alternative methods of prevention and treatment. 

Instead of unnecessarily treating the whole population, Dr. Canaday argued for isolating the sick, vaccinating vulnerable individuals, and allowing natural herd immunity to occur among the robust. 

“…let people develop natural herd immunity while you protect the vulnerable.”

Yet, telling the full story was met with resistance from those with power.

Complaints, Accusations, and Tribunals

Dr. Canaday’s courageous stance against the pervasive narrative led to complaints and accusations from the MCNZ. 

“…the Medical Council then had determined that what I was doing was dangerous, potentially posing risk of harm to the public, that I was providing misinformation, and that I was disparaging my fellow physicians, that I was bringing disrepute upon the profession.”

He became one of the first doctors to have his annual practising certificate suspended by MCNZ in November 2021, a decision he appealed and won when the judge decided it was a disproportionate response. The MCNZ was forced to lift his suspension in March 2022.  

In addition to the suspension and successful appeal, he was subjected to a professional conduct committee (PCC) investigation and the outcome of that was a referral to the health practitioner’s disciplinary tribunal (HPDT). The PCC formulated 8 pages of charges against him which were heard by the tribunal.

Now 19 months since the first action by the Medical Council, and 10 weeks after the end of his Tribunal hearing, he remains in limbo and currently awaits the Tribunal’s decision. 

Threatening to Society

The silencing of Dr. Peter Canaday and other doctors who dare to question the official script has grave consequences for both the public and the medical profession. 

Suppressing free speech threatens not only the medical profession but our entire society and culture, where critical thinking and intellectual discourse are essential for progress.

Dr. Canaday came to the conclusion that this is about something other than health. He won’t publicly speculate, however…

“…it really doesn’t seem to be that this matter is about health after all. It seems to be about something else…because the conventional approaches to a condition like this have not been the usual health measures.”

By stifling dissenting voices, the MCNZ has stripped the public of valuable alternative perspectives and denied them the right to make informed decisions. This then cascades throughout medicine, breeding fear, distrust in doctors in general, and discouraging healthcare professionals from speaking their minds. 

Collective Action

One cannot help but see Dr. Canaday as a hero for free speech, standing up against a corrupt system on behalf of the entire population. 

His case is not merely one physician’s fight for medical free speech. It potentially affects free speech for everyone.  And it affects the ability of every patient to receive medical advice based on a physician’s edcuation, knowledge and experience, without the influence of hidden extenal forces.

The urgency of this issue demands our attention and collective action. We cannot allow lack of action to be translated into acceptance. Please share this article among your network with the hashtag #stopthesilence. Add your voice to this movement before more of our rights are eroded. 


This article is part of a series on doctors silenced by health authorities in New Zealand.

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  1. Thank you for the continuing fight against censorship of debate and questioning the narrative by the Government and our feebly broken media. Keep u the good work.

  2. My family doctor, Grant Robinson of the Panmure Medical Centre needs to stand up. Stop the killing of your patience. Your better than this.

  3. Thank you for your heroic efforts gentlemen. It really sounds like the Salem witch trials. We have to resist this tyranny and band together. Having moved to NZ to escape the tyrrany of and after WW2 my family know how bad this gets. Being harassed, terrorised and killed is part of my family history and tragedy. We will not allow this to happen in NZ. This is a fight that must be fought. The harder they push the more we will fight back.

  4. Yhank you for all that you do and sending me these emails.
    can I have a interview with you on my experiences and how the medical profession have treated me as well as members of the public, and shop owners .?

    021-059-2626 cell phone number.

  5. What one notices about all these professionals of who’ve been witch-hunted for challenging the Cult of Covid Gospel, is that they are courageous men and women of enormous ethical backbone and principle with probing minds not afraid to let the revealing chips fall where they may… ***Likewise, for so many others like Dr. Canaday, including Drs. Hoffe, Trozzi, Nagase, Phillips and many others from here in Canada… For speaking truth to power, they are viciously persecuted;
    it is up to us, in the public, to fervently defend these heroes and call out the inquisitors who’d have them silenced and punished for daring to dethrone the holy covid cow from its untouchable pedestal.

  6. Thank you to all the Doctors who have stood up against the madness of the passed three years. It is unfortunate that there where not more, but as Shakespeare wrote, “the fewer, the greater share of honour”. Indeed the fight is not yet over, but when the battle is finally won, and it will be won, you can take your place of honour among the best of the best. Your names will be written into the history books of NZ as the Doctors who stood by their oath, to protect the people of this country, and “do no harm”.

  7. Thank you Dr Canady for speaking up about your concerns, using your extensive medical experience to analyse the situation and try for robust debate. You’re a true doctor and health care provider in the truest sense. I am deeply concerned about the road being paved towards the dissolution of democracy, right to choice and division. Please know you are supported throughout this country and people are with you in spurrier and conscience.

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