Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will update the media today at 1pm.
>> Aotearoa kia ora.
I will hand over to Dr Bloomfield to update on case numbers and other things. Come back to me for a brief comment and your questions. Aiming to enlighten the house and finish around 20 to.
>> Thank you. Kia ora koutou katoa
we're announcing 102 case in the community of these 90 in Auckland and eight in Waikato.
Our total number of cases in the south break is 8,260.
Of today's cases 30 are household contacts, 40 are yet to be linked to a current case, although you can imagine with this number of cases interviews on many are just getting under way or about to happen.
Now, of yesterday's cases, the 60, 20 remain unlinked at this point with investigations on going. The focus, of course, is on identifying contacts and isolating and testing those contacts.
Today, we've got 46 people in hospital. Our highest number in the outbreak to date. 45 of those in hospitals across Tamaki Makaurau and one in Waikato Hospital.
It's becoming increasingly clear as has been the case right through the outbreak COVID is internationally a disease amongst the unvaccinated. That is certainly the pattern here. The harms of COVID-19 fall much more on those who are un immunised. A BMJ study which was released just last month based on UK data shows of 40,000 patients hospitalised in the techs months to the middle of this year in the UK 84% of those people hospitalised had not been vaccinated and only 3% of cases are in hospital - in hospital were fully vaccinated. Our figures are similar.
We still three of our 188 people hospitalised in this outbreak, 6.1% who are fully immunised that is at least two weeks since their second vaccination and fully immunised cases make up just 4.5% of the total.
So, further evidence from here and also from the UK that vaccination is an excellent way to protect you, and the community.
Testing also remains important. Yesterday 12,759 swabs were taken in Auckland and 26,669 tests processed around the country. Every one of these tests is important for us, keeping COVID under control. So, thank you to all those involved in swabbing and processing the tests. Testing available right across Auckland today, again, and reminder that anyone with symptoms, even if they are mild and even if you have been vaccinated, and in particular, in New land and the suburbs of Rosedale Bayswater where the positivity rates were mier over the last few days get tested but anywhere please get tested and isolate until you receive your result.
The eight new cases in Waikato are all around the Te Awamutu.
Seven have already been linked to known cases. Waikato DHB is continuing testing across the region. There were over 3,000 swabs taken yesterday.
However, we would like to see higher testing numbers in and around Te Awamutu. Please get tested if you have symptoms, if you have a household member who has symptoms or if in the course of the last week or so you have travelled in and out of Te Awamutu for work or other essential activities. Whether you have symptoms or not, please get a test.
One of today's cases in Waikato was a permitted traveller with an exemption to travel to Napier last Friday, 15 October. They were not a confirmed case during their travel and subsequently turned positive when they returned to the Waikato where they are isolating at home. Their infectious period included the time they travelled to Hawkes Bay.
There were two close contacts identified one of who lives in Wairoa. However both have returned negative tests. There is no risk of infection. They will as close contacts will be kept in isolation for the full 14-day period and retested on day 12.
I would like to reiterate there are no positive cases in Hawkes Bay and thank you to those involved in this situation for their excellent support.
The ministries updated guidance for allied health professionals working in settings outside of district health board and hospitals clarifying they can provide services under alert level three. That would be in Auckland and the Waikato.
This clarification enables roughly 2,000 allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteo paths, in Auckland - that's just in Auckland alone to see patients who need to be seen face-to-face and provide appropriate treatment of course they will be screening patients for COVID symptoms practicing COVID-19 IPC measures including distancing where appropriate, strict protocols around infection control, PPE use, scanning and so on.
They will also keep providing Telehealth services where that's most appropriate.
I want to thank our allied health professionals who have had to adapt their practice through the course of the outbreak techly in Tamaki Makaurau over the last few months.
Finally it is infection prevent control this week - week this week. I would like to acknowledge the huge effort and dedication of the IPC professionals especially the nurse specialists and others in the health workforce. That on going work has been particularly front of mind during the pandemic over the last 20 month and of course has been a lesson for all of us and the general public about what we can do to prevent infection spreading including and most importantly not going out to work or anywhere if you are unwell. Back to you.
>> Thank you very much Dr Bloomfield.
Just before I take questions, I do want to say something about the case numbers. I know for people who watch the 1:00 briefing it is something that you follow closely and the ups and downs can be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
You will have heard from all of us who have spoken from here recently that we can expect to see case numbers rise. Of the we do still want to keep them under control and we're working hard to do that. We thank Aucklanders for their cooperation in doing so and as we head towards the long weekend to ask Aucklanders to continue to stick to those alert level three rules.
While keeping a lid on case numbers is important to reducing hospital admissions and reducing pressure on the health system case numbers in and of themselves are not the only measure we need to use going forward to assess the severity of the outbreak. It is anticipated in the future 95% of the people who get COVID could be treated at home with appropriate community care. And indeed in this outbreak only a small percentage of those who contracted the virus have ended up in hospital.
The bottom line here is that the vaccine is the key to keeping you, your family and your community safe. We are facing this outbreak with higher rates of vaccination than perhaps others have in other countries. We are in a strong position but we do need to build on that and see more people be vaccinated.
So, today, that means that we need to look at the number of cases and do all we can to keep them under control but also keep an eye on hospitalisations so that we're measuring the severity of the outbreak there. The safety and health of New Zealanders remains at the forefront of our mind and it is how we will continue to focus on managing the outbreak.
>> What is in place for hospital this get overwhelmed with COVID cases 100 today. What will we see tomorrow?
>> I make the point because we have 100 cases today doesn't mean 100 people go to hospital. Far from it. What we've planning for the whole of the outbreak making sure the health system can cope. New Zealand's health system is staffed by highly, trained, dedicated professionals. Dr Bloomfield who I will turn to in a moment through the ministry of health works with the DHB. We shared workforce around the country to make sure people can be given time off to make sure we get the right speciality in the right place. Today, we have six people in ICU. The number of people in ICU is keeping reasonably steady and so ICU capacity is not an issue for us at this time. Overall the hospitals have been planning for this. That's what they do. Dr Bloomfield do you want to add to that?
>> To add to that one of the things we've been doing for the last two months is supported the Auckland DHB with staff coming from around the country. The hospitalisation numbers the ICU bed use are consistent with what our modelling suggested and consistent with the case numbers. They're very much in line. We of course would not let ourselves get to a position where our hospitals were overwhelmed. The key thing is how we use the resource available in the hospitals but in the community through primary care providers to look after as many people as hospital outside -- as possible outside of hospital.
>> Are you confidence of schools opening next week with the surge in case numbers today?
>> It's always a ball between the potential risk of infection spreading but also the other health social and educational needs of the students. Our assessment for a while has been that it is safe to open those schools. I think a number of measures have been put in place, including reducing the number of students by confining to years 11 to 13, the use of infection - strict infection prevention control, mandatory use of masks and we also note especially in Tamakimakoto we have good vaccination rates in the 12 to 18-year-olds. That's encourage ing. It will require as any student who is not - or staff member shouldn't go to school. We will keep a close eye on that until through Labor weekend and advise if there's any change in that. The
>> To add onto that we wouldn't have made the decision if it wasn't on the basis of good advice and good safety measures. As the Director General just said we're making sure infection prevention measures are front of mind for all schools. We have teachers being vaccinated. We want students to be vaccinated. Some schools are now deciding they want to pick that up themselves as well. All of that is positive. We're talking about a cohort of students between years 11 and 13 who are coming up to some really important parts of their schooling journey. We wanted to make sure we could facilitate that in a safe way. We don't have year nine and 10 student and we don't have Primary School students returning at this time. We always look at risks and the balance of making that right.
>> How concerned are you about the growing number of unlinked cases and are any of today's unlinked cases in Waikato?
>> There was the one that hadn't been linked yesterday in Waikato. I suspect as interviews take place that will change. The other seven were all contacts.
>> How concerning is the growing number of unlinked cases? Are you reaching the point where contact tracers are starting to feel immense pressure?
>> Can I comment on that? It's to be expected. It's by virtue of the nature of the outbreak and also the numbers. Again at this point in the outbreak in Auckland the focus is not so much on trying to link the cases. The most important information is to try to find out who the contacts might be of those cases and get those people tested and isolated. That's been the focus for the last week or two of our contact tracing effort. The contact tracing is just as intensive and as timely as it has been right through.
>> Can I add one thing to that answer too, throughout this outbreak we've been making sure we share the burden under public health units around New Zealand and so particular clusters of cases have been managed by public health units outside of Auckland throughout the outbreak. We're conscious of the fact the contact tracing team in Auckland are doing a great job for us. Woo are spreading that load around. As Dr Bloomfield said what we're focussed on is getting to contacts. The linking and so on is no longer the most important job that they have got. The
>> The converse argument from epidemiologist s if you don't know where it's come from you don't know if there's an undetected chain of transmission. Isn't that just as important as finding on going transmission from one doll low says?
>> At this point in the outbreak the key response here is high rates of testing to continue and finding cases. Right from the start of the outbreak every case of course is another one to add to the numbers. But we want to find the cases. Likewise the modelling that we get updated from Auckland everyday does look and see if there are likely to be large numbers of undetected cases in the community and the latest model elg show no it's a pretty good match. Our sense at the moment is we are finding most of the cases out there.
>> Do you have the sense of - in the sense of how many more cases there could be based on the contact in Waikato and Auckland which you have reported before?
>> In Auckland we're too far into the outbreak and the numbers are too large for us to be able to keep a track of that. In Waikato we know there are all the close contacts have been identified. Well, all the once - the -- all the ones the family close contacts have been identified. For some of the close could contacts we don't have a good indication of all of those. We are using the cases to spread the word around their networks to ask people to get tested and in a way it's good to see the testing numbers coming through. We are identifying the cases so that approach is working well.
>> With the Waikato cluster, effectively, it is much more one that we can see, that we can identify. We have to work through with people to make sure we're getting all that information, but I think - I distinguish the two quite significantly from here.
>> Do you have an estimate of how many more cases there could be in Waikato?
>> I don't have that in front of me. There will be more cases in week bike because -- Waikato because we have people in households and that's the way it spreads. The by having the measures we have in place in Waikato we continue to try to stamp out the outbreak. We're taking the approach we're taking because we believe we can do that.
>> I will come back to you on that. It was something we were doing earlier on with the smaller number of cases in Auckland. We will separate out the Waikato cases and see how much potential household and other contacts there are and conversion rates.
>> Following on from that can you tell us how many unlinked cases there are in Waikato and where they are spread and if there are any active cases I think outside of Raglan, and Te Awamutu.
>> The eight cases were around the Te Awamutu area. Seven in Te Awamutu one in Kihikihi. Seven have been - are already known to be linked. The other one is being interviewed but there's a strons sense there will be a link there. The only cases that I understand that have been unlinked were the two in Hamilton from about a week ago. They're still - they have been linked through the whole genome sequencing it's unclear -- it's clear but the epidemiological hasn't been made yet.
>> What was your other question too?
>> How often is the wastewater testing being done around the country. Obviously there are more cases in Auckland chances of it leaking out, should be there be more focus on that. Can you tell us how often the wastewater has been testing around the country?
>> It varies. My understanding there is a dashboard on the website. It's the same dashboard I get that shows wastewater testing results on a daily basis from around the country. Most places weekly some twice weekly. I guess we're in a point in the outbreak in Auckland where probably the wastewaterest testing of less use because we know it will keep returning positive across the city. So, we will be increasing the frequency across Waikato over the coming week or two to identify whether there may be detections in some of the smaller towns around Waikato.
>> In recent days, recent in the last week within the Waikato area there's been an increase in wastewater testing just as there was in Auckland as well. So, there's regular testing around the country and then we hone in on areas where we believe we need to do even more regular testing.
>> Could it be more frequent around the country than once a week?
>> It's something we can look at. I wouldn't rule out trying to increase it. We take advice from the Ministry. We use wastewater testing the way I described throughout the pandemic. We will continue as we're asked to. There's no resource restraint around that.
>> The likelihood of it spreading around the country and we obviously want to find it, if it does, as soon as possible.
>> There is regular wastewater testing around the country. Not that there's none. I take your point you're suggesting should we up it everywhere? The advice we continue to get from the Ministry and others is we should do regular testing and focus in on hotspots.
>> We're looking at it again as part of a future testing in a highly vaccinated population including which test - the sort of surveillance testing, the population but also the wastewater testing. That may well see us doing the latter more frequently as part of the disease detection really, early detection after about a month from when we move into a highly vaccinated population.
>> Director General we have information to suggest that somebody at one of the MiQ facilities in Albany had left the facility and then came back later in the day or later after a period of being out in the community. Have you got any information?
>> I haven't.
>> We can follow that one up for you.
>> Just as a punt, the initial case that launched Delta into New Zealand where are we with that? Have you found anything to suggest where that came from? I know it's been a while or has is that trial completely cold?
>> The trail went cold. We obviously focussed our re-sources on managing the outbreak. We did look very hard there but weren't - we have a really good idea of we know which hotel it came from, which person and pretty much which day but how it jumped across the border there as it were has not been able...
>> That's not common in these sorts of things. We have a lot of information about it but in the end the absolute 100% confirmed link wasn't able to be made. Jo.
>> Just on the allied health announcement today there's been calls for a long time, particularly for people who get regular physio treatment, why has it taken so long to decide...
>> The ministry has been working closely with the professional bodies and in many senses, it was a clarification of what the - what is permitted under alert level three and early on in an outbreak when certainly in Auckland we're trying to effectively stamp it out and get back to zero, the controls under alert level four and first part of alert level three were designed to minimise contact between health professionals and people as much as possible. It's now reached a point and certainly talking with our DHB colleagues up there that enabling access to some of the allied health services in the community will help with any - with conditions progressing to a point where they might need hospital care and we've also worked out with those professionals how they can ensure they and the people they are treating can remain safe.
>> Minister, lastly, Sam asked you about will you give any consideration to expediting the proactive release of this type of health advice. Have you had any conversations with the Prime Minister or cabinet colleagues about that?
>> I did after we spoke have a conversation upstairs. I will have to follow up on what happened with that because it wasn't resolved.
>> Dr McElnay said last week that about 170 to 180 cases was that point where our health system would get a bit of pressure put on it. Do you have any indication where - if New Zealand may start to look at getting those kind of numbers each day? Is there any modelling to suggest that.
>> I will give Dr Bloomfield a chance to respond to that. I was standing here when that was said. I think the context is important. In terms of the earlier question there's a difference between how we manage pressure in the system and whether or not it's manageable. We believe it is manageable. Obviously as we get to a greater number of cases, particularly greater number of hospitalisations then hospitals have to start managing their resources. And that is the process that they have been planning for, for some time. This is being - this is common in other situations we face in New Zealand when you get a very large outbreak of the flu or you have other reasons why hospitals have systems to allow themselves to be able to move resources around. I think that's what Dr McElnay was referring to once you got up to hospitalisations around a higher level that will be driven by a higher case load then hospitals will begin to start moving their resources around.
>> Two comments here. I wasn't on the podium of course. But I think it was particularly talking about the pressure on the contact tracing system. But it's effort to the healthcare system. At the moment our value is 1.2 to 1.3 which is doubling about over day which means we're likely to reach those case numbers in two to three weeks' time. What is most important what proportion of those cases have been vaccinated. That will be material in terms how many require hospital care. There are two things Aucklanders to do to take pressure off the staff and hospitals to continue to get vaccinated and abide by the alert level three requirements.
>> On Monday showed about 77% of people weren't vaccinated, including a fair chunk of them were children. About 50% didn't - weren't vaccinated. Are you anticipating to see those case numbers have a higher vaccination rate just to try to reduce those hospitalisation levels?
>> Yes, so actually we just saw some modelling from our colleagues in Auckland today showing that over the course of the outbreak in Auckland the proportion of cases who are vaccinated is increasing. It's still by far the minority. So, next week will give a little bit of a - do a little bit of a show and tell on how this happens, of course, as you get a highly vaccinated population the greater the proportion of your cases will be vaccinated. But it does absolutely keep down the hospitalisations because they're much less likely to be hospitalised. As I said only 1.7% of those hospitalised in this outbreak have been fully vaccinated.
>> It's simply a function of maths in any way the more people we see vaccinated the more likely as an outbreak growth you will see people in the outbreak who are vaccinated. To reiterate Dr Bloomfield's point both at a personal level being vaccinated means you are less likely to get the virus, less likely to be sick with it and far less likely as we statistically know to be hospitalised. As I said in thy introductory comments we're looking at all those measures in terms of how we measure this particular outbreak. I will come up the front.
>> Question for Dr Bloomfield. I think it was yesterday 86 cases that are isolated at home. Can we get an updated number of that and how Delta in the outbreak whether there's any concerns isolating people at home considering the virus spread through unvaccinated households so far...
>> As of yesterday I think by the end of the day - by the middle of the day it was 101 people from 55 households who were isolating at home. There's public health and clin cal risk assessment done before people -- clinical risk assessment done before people are put in that low-risk of being able to isolate safely at home. In particular if people in households where it's difficult for them to be separate from other household members then almost they go into a category where they would be supported to go into a quarantine facility to avoid that - what we've other seen as quite a high rate of infection of family members.
>> I have a question on behalf of Shaun. They want some of the family members stuck in Auckland to be able to travel down and support the rest of the family as they grieve. Why is that not allowed and why are there such prescriptive rules around what constitutes an immediate family member?
>> As you know this has been one of the hardest things throughout COVID-19. I have stood here and answered questions here about it before. It is a truly difficult area for both those who give us advice how exemptions are granted and the governments in terms of the rules. Throughout this period of people there have been people who tragically missed out on attending funerals and it is very hard. The advice we take however is around how we minimise risk and the thing about funerals, weddings, those sorts of events is they are one where people find it extremely difficult to socially or physically distance. So it is a very, very difficult area. I know the ministry works throughout to find way to facilitate people. It is challenged by the con at the present time of tungihunga because it implicitly involves a wider group of people. That makes it more challenging. We do know that this is a risk area for us. We try to manage it sensitively you many, many people have unfortunately had to do that. Do you have anything to add?
>> Just that I know our team looks at every application on its merit and in fact we've extended the criteria for that sort of family relationship that does allow people to travel out - to include not just first degree relatives but where there's other relationships as well. If people do ask for a review of it. I think there was a request yesterday of that then I ask the team to go back and look at it.
>> In this case it's an aunty. Have we put too much of a lens on what constitutes immediate family. Have we not taken...
>> I believe the Ministry does take into account cultural factors but in the end there will always be a limit to numbers. That the issue that we are dealing with.
>> Also just aside from tungihunga. Should there not be I guess some sympathy given and leniency given where whanau need the support of the wide family.
>> Again my heard goes out to this whanau and all the others who have been through this. It is without doubt one of the most difficult areas of managing COVID-19. We try to do it sensitively. We try to do it safely and I'm sure the Ministry and others would have been assessing any application that way. Ben?
>> Do you agree with quite morbid suggestion from Mike Smith who said it will take Maori deaths to up the vaccination rate. We did see that lightly after the AOG cluster.
>> I don't want to look at it that way. We've seen really good progress in multi-- - Maori vaccination in the last few weeks. We've come through with significant increases. We are working every single day with every provider we can to make sure we increase Maori vaccination rates. I don't want to look at it that way. I want to look at it as a lot of Maori on the basis how they can support their whanau and wider community to be able to stay safe. I appreciate there will be people with different views.
>> May I also ask does the increase case count, does it expose of having the folly of one of these freedom days as has been by the opposition on December 1..
>> Putting yourself in a position where you need to say there needs to be a certain percentage. There's also a so-called freedom day seems to be a somewhat contradictory position. What we need here is to get vaccination rates as high as we possibly can across as many parts of our community as we possibly can and you know I - everybody would love it if you could set a date with COVID that everything would be over but that simply isn't how the virus works. I understand the frustration that sits behind that. Actually the strong advice we've had is it's about vaccination rates. I will come to Jason. Before I do. I can say I got a message saying there's no truth to that rumour and there are no facilities in Albany.
>> Is the decision for cabinet tomorrow still around Waikato? Is that still on the Agenda.
>> The advice - the public health risk assessment we will get from the Ministry of health is likely to come through late this afternoon. Ministers will attempt to assess it as quickly as we can so we can give certainty to the people of Waikato as we can. We're likely to try to announce it possibly this afternoon. That won't mean another press conference just to reassure you of that. It will likely be done by media release as soon as we get the information. There's a timing issue. Dr Bloomfield and his team provide their advice and it works its way through to us as ministers. We are conscious people in the Waikato will want certainty in which case we will try to do it this evening.
>> Is there going to be a cabinet meeting?
>> There's a group of cabinet mince who have been given power to act on this. We can meet in a number of forms, virtually and in person. We will be able to manage that. We will go to Henry. He hasn't had a question.
>> Minister, have you seen the news on the warehouse to require vaccination for all staff. Are you happy about that and do you think that basically every retail store could possible lick -- possibly - retail chain make the same.
>> It's clear that a number of businesses have been working their way through this and working their legal obligations and assessing the health and safety of their workforce and suss kers -- customers. If you go on the WorkSafe website you will find a risk assessment tool you can use as an employer as to whether or not you should be vaccinating or your staff should be vaccinating. A big part is public facing and if you're in that position it would justify from health and safety perspective you decided you wanted all your staff to be vaccinated. In terms of the broader issue work has been going on between government ministers, business groups and unions to discuss how we will moving forward from here to provide the maximum amount of certainty we can. I think everyone will appreciate it's a relatively new area for employment law. People are treading carefully. That work is progressing. In the meantime as I say there is a risk assessment tool. I'm not going to comment specifically on the warehouse, but certainly where you have a lot of public facing staff you can look at that tool and see that from health and safety perspective you are likely to want to have vaccinated staff.
>> That will drive the vaccine up. After Super Saturday we have seen... The last since August looks like things are dropping off.
>> We know as we get to higher rates of vaccination we get to people who are perhaps more hesitant or harder for us to reach. It's not a huge surprise in the absence of a major effort like Super Saturday. We are now applying all the resources we can to reaching those people. To answer the first part of your question, I welcome anything that lifts vaccination rates. I think more people talking about the importance of it not just from the health and safety of you individually but the people you work with, the community you around is a good thing.
>> Do you see... They don't want to be in court. Currently as a first assessment tool that can be challenging.
>> Whenever you get into matters of employment law anything becomes challengeable. I have no doubt at some point there will be legal cases in this area around the world you can see them happening. The work ministers are doing is give as much clarity as we can. We are aware of those employers who are telling us, please mandate this. We also have ones who don't want it as well. We have to make sure we have a legal framework that is robust. Discussions about that are happening. I'm sure we will have more to say about it soon.
>> Legislation will be too far, if Legislation was necessary to give that certainty to businesses then that's what they would do. Do you not think it's necessary or do you want to put it under the statute books and have it in that kind of form?
>> As I said in my answer to Henry this is evolving and evolving quickly. You look around the world at examples that have gone either way. What I think the most important thing is certainty. If certainty can be delivered by Legislation that's one thing. If there are other ways of doing it we should look at it as well. We need both employers and employees to be able to come along with this. If - I know we're in the middle of this now. If we all took a step backwards and for a moment considered that's the kind of employment law change we will be considering it's a big step. We're in the middle of a pandemic. Big steps are things we've had to do. We have to make sure we work through so we don't put ourselves in the position Henry mentioned of being in court.
>> I mean the government's potentially...
>> Is there anything on the horizon that could be the test case for it?
>> We're certainly not looking to take the case. Look, again, the only reason I mention is that is because if you look around the world that's what's happened. So, I would not be at all surprised but we are working through that process. I do welcome as many people as possible beings vaccinated and obviously as I say right now people could take a look at that risk assessment tool and make a good judgment.
>> Challenges of government...
>> I'm not aware of anything right now.
>> I want to clarify there might be a decision of Waikato alert sefl setting today?
>> Potentially. The only reason I say it we want to give people in Waikato as much notice as possible.
>> The Prime Minister said on Monday it was going to come on Friday.
>> That's right. It's because the public health advice gets delivered today and we don't want to delay. We sometimes get criticised in this room if we sit on a decision for a short length of time. So, ministers when we were briefly discussing matters earlier this morning concluded if the Director General provided his advice to us today and we can make a decision today we should do that.
>> Ask the worker who went to Hawks Bay who later tested positive, dune their -- do you know their vaccination status?
>> I don't and it was a person who was related to childcare arrangements. I don't know about their vaccination status. They returned back to Waikato before they were a confirmed case. I know one of the two contacts in Hawks Bay was fully vaccinated. As I said both those people returned negative day six tests.
>> Do you have any more mandatory vaccination for people leaving the brown bring?
>> Not -- boundary.
>> Not lately. Conscious of the time. I will take a couple of more.
>> You are talking about the on going need for the difficult ones to get vaccinated. Does it bother in places for example there has been a plea from people who run services for a caravan-type style - for a number of month now and they finally got granted it yesterday because Maori vaccination became such a talking point and the minister called out the DHB for being slack. Why does it take that sort of comment to prompt DHB to deliver the services that multi-service providers who know what they are doing on the ground actually need?
>> I can't specifically on the DHB in this instance. What I know we have good examples where we have good things between DHB and other providers. We know others that don't. Our job is to make sure we work with every provider who can and help us lift the vaccination rates. I absolutely respect that there are more multi-health providers around New Zealand who know chair community well and they know their community in many ways a lot better than perhaps some of the people in the DHB do. We have to listen to them. This won't work unless we're collaborating. The DHBs are vital O cogs in this. They're under a lot of pressure, working, very hard. We can share the burden of that. I'm pleased they have responding to the minister's call.
>> Have you been involved in that at all? The Mish u has been raised with you here, most of the time. Have you talked to the DHB? That h that prompted them to thifr this?
>> -- deliver this service
>> I don't talk to the DHB. My team does. They meet with all the senior offices from the DHB. I spoke yesterday with the CE of Tanawaki to ask what he else they needed and I was reassured by what I was told around what had improved in terms of working within the relationships. I know it is important. I know he had a conversation with the Chief Executive yesterday.
>> Dr Bloomfield when will the border be updated to recognise other vaccines for border workers such as Air New Zealand pilots?
>> I don't know. I will come back to you on that it is close to being completed.
>> The ministry of health delayed court proceedings, why did you offer a proposal that was not the data set that was asked for?
>> I'm not going to comment on that. It's a process that will be - may still be before the court.
>> We will leave that. We will take the final one.
>> On travel documents. Has anything been done to tighten up the process after those two travelled out - to Northland. Has anything been done?
>> I believe I might have said on the podium. We went back and worked with NBN how those travel permits are granted. They are in a thorough process of checking categories. There was an element of human error in what happened there. So processes and systems get constantly checked. I think I said a number of times before with the numbers of people who are moving it is very tough but each day I know that there is a group of people working really, really hard to make sure that they help keep New Zealanders safe by working through the permitting system. Every now and then there will be a mistake. As soon as it happens