COVID-19 update 28 September 2021

News article

28 September 2021

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will update the media today at 1pm.


>> Kia ora koutou katoa good afternoon.

I will shortly make an announcement on permitted travel for those in Auckland.

But first to Doctor Bloomfield for the latest COVID-19 situation.

>> Thank you, Prime Minister. Kia ora koutou katoa.

Today I can report 8 new cases of COVID-19 -- eight new cases. Seven of our eight new community cases are known contacts of existing cases. Progress does continue.

Yesterday I reported a four sub- clusters, and today that is down to three. This is where we had seen cases emerging in unknown contacts and public health efforts are focused on less active sub- clusters.

 Separately in three of us sub- clusters representing 15 cases, it has been one month since we reported those cases.

The formal contacts of those clusters and subsequent ones are still more than one week away. We wait a full 28 day period or to a 14 day infection cycles after the last case has finished their 14 days isolation.

As you can see, we are making progress.

Now, one of today's new cases was confirmed after a person presented to the emergency department last evening, and this is a case that is currently unlinked. That person was rapidly assessed on arrival and moved to an appropriate area not long afterwards. As soon as their test turned positive there were transferred to Northey Hospital, where they are being cared for as in usual hospital care plan.

They are in isolation at the moment. They are in a high pressure ventilation room with all of the precautions.

As a precaution five members have been stood down while those further assessment made by the occupation and health team and eight patients remain in hospital and in the vicinity of that case are being treated at the moment as contacts and are taking relevant precautions. The ED was able to remain open with ambulances diverted to North Shore for the deep clean was happened and it is operating again fully.

On wastewater, it has been reported a positive detection from a sample that was taken on September 23. Our follow-up samples from the areas taken this morning have results expected on Thursday.

Additional samples have also been taken from nearby areas, including Whitey Beach, Katie Cutty, and marketed.

Unexpected wastewater results can be due to a recovered case there who has excreted viral fragments or undetected acute case. Our usual protocol is to wait for a second test until we take further action, but in this case given that we know at the moment that we are dealing with the delta outbreak in Auckland we are confirming for people in greater Ted Unger area and that  includes Mount Maunganui we suggest that you get a test and keep your eye on the website.

There will be more testing pop-ups available from tomorrow and allocation of those pop-ups beyond the Healthpoint. website.

Likewise any workers that are travelling across the Auckland boundary, please check that you up-to-date with your regular testing. If you have any symptoms you need to isolate and get a test.

 Our surveillance testing and Auckland region continues and this is part of our ongoing control of the outbreak and has focused over the last two weeks, sorry, month, on the essential workers, and more than 50,000 essential workers have been tested. We are now shifting the focus to those workers that have come online since that level 3.

So-called permitted workers. The request has been made and it is not a requirement but a request of those workers to over the next couple of weeks whether you have symptoms or net -- or not, get to test five days apart.

 This is part of surveillance testing and we are particularly interested in construction, hospitality and retail. Workers with no symptoms who are being tested do not need to isolate awaiting their test result. They can continue to work of course taking all of the usual precautions.

 Finally, an update on the vaccination status of our cases so far on the south island. There have been 1145 cases to date of which 260 children under 12. They are not yet eligible to be detonated. Of the 925 people who are eligible to be vaccinated 718 or 78% have had no vaccinations was just 38 or 4% were fully and being amazed -- fully immunised, having had their second vaccine before testing positive. The remainder have had just one dose and less than 14 days before they were infected, just 17 people.

 Of course is 260 children have become cases in this outbreak is significant given that they are not yet able to be vaccinated. It is up to the rest of us to protect them. S

o having the vaccine clearly from our results here protects the person being vaccinated but it also protects those that are not vaccinated, including children, but also a frail older people who may be vaccinated and are susceptible and also being immunocompromised. Although to a knowledge a younger generation today. -- Acknowledged.

Despite them not being able to access the vaccine nearly 64% have already had one dose of vaccine. Uptake in this group, 12 to 19, has been faster than any other group. Instead of having an exponential increase in COVID- 19 in Auckland, we got an exponential increase in vaccination in a 12 to 19-year- olds.

Thank you for your leadership and the example that you are setting. Matthew, Prime Minister.

>>Thank you, Doctor Bloomfield.

At the time that we made these announcements that they were delimited in order for us to reduce the risk. There were valid reasons that people do need to relocate. To date the Director-General of Health has been able to issue exemptions for specific and genuinely urgent reasons. Over the course of the outbreak he has granted 800 altogether out of roughly 6000 requests received. But after six weeks people situations will naturally change and the urgency can sometimes increase.

In short, people have been able to delay moving house for only so long. For example, starting a new job or continuing tertiary education. Many people intend or need to leave Auckland permanently or part of their lives, such as a child, is across the boundary and they may need to pursue care of their child.

With the move to level 3 but also with the new testing requirements we for moving across the boundary we have a high level of confidence that we can safely make some changes to border movements.

So from 11:50 PM tonight people will be able to travel across the Auckland boundary and into a level 2 environment if they are relocating permanently, either to move into a new property that they have purchased or rented, to start a new job, or to travel to a tertiary education venue.

Secondly, if they have shared caregiving arrangements. So, for instance, the custody of a child. Number three, if they are returning home from a blood level 3 to an alert level 2 environment. There are rules. First, if you are leaving Auckland are not returning you need to get a negative test with a 72 hours before the departure. There is a same as requirements for those where that is already permitted activity to move across the border.

For those crossing the boundary for shared caregiving arrangements, because this involved more back and forth travel than a one-off, they will need to have a test within seven days of each crossing, just like the crossing requirements we have for those of moving freight or a part of essential work. Everyone must carry proof of why they are travelling and you must not be sick when you travel.

 If you are a student, please get in touch with your tertiary accommodation provider beforehand. They can help facilitate your journey.

 The flexibility we are able to give here is because alert level 3 is currently doing its job, which is to ensure there is no wider spread in the Auckland community. And because of course as I have said we have extra measures in place which give us confidence to do this.

Of course we will need to keep monitoring the situation and I do want to acknowledge and thank those that have been stuck and this situation for so much time. Your patience and commitment to everyone's health and safety. Our success in getting delta under control means that we can now make this move.

 Another pressure point in our COVID response which we discuss often is MIQ. We know they are significantly more New Zealanders trying to come home, particularly as we near the end of the year. There are places available. We have tried to make the system fairer with the introduction of a lobby system that means everybody trying to get he has an equal chance to do so. They do not have to sit at a computer for hours, pushing refresh.

Tonight further rooms are being released into the system between five and 6pm an extra 3800 rooms will be released to be booked for October, November and December. It follows last week's release with more than 5000 people from 117 countries securing vouchers. It means that more than 12,000 people coming home for Christmas over the next few months, with thousands more rooms to be released over the coming weeks.

The reason we stagger those releases is that some people may have urgent needs that only arise, say, in October and it allows people to get quick access if those needs arise as a little closer to the time.

 It is now six weeks to the day since delta was reported to the day, in Auckland, and since then 2 million vaccines have been given. It also means it is timely for many of those people to be getting their second dose. There are several new ways to get your jabber. Just a couple to be aware of in Auckland this week include a two day event vaccination being held tomorrow at the church and another of Vodafone events in Manuka. We cannot afford to take the pressure off. Just over 4000 of the vaccines given there last week were given. That is good for Auckland and it is a sign that we are having high percentages and it will take us more effort. Hitting 90% of eligible population by the time we review our blood levels in Auckland of course gives us greater confidence that would readily require people to step up their rates.

Please get vaccinated this week, especially if you are in a level 3 worker. We say thank you to those businesses making time for workers to get a vaccine to make your workforce say. 

>> Epidemiologists and mothers believe in cluster three at this point there is a case full of towns and suburbs of concern. 

>> We have discussed that and considered that. There is a lot of complexity in some clusters we have at the moment and their reach has not always been totally localised. That has been one of the complications. The other is making those localised lockdowns really workable but we have kept some of those options open. They just haven't always been easy to implement or necessarily provide the level of safeguards you would want for them to be effective.  

>> Would you consider as we were run through this particular outbreak...

>> We have been open to considering this option all the way through but with the clusters to date, they have reached beyond single suburbs and so you would run the risk of trying to take a localised approach that essentially could lead to an outbreak then worse elsewhere. 

>> Thank you. You have summarised it. In a city like Auckland where people move around even between adjacent suburbs to access central services, it can be very tricky to do in a localised way but it is not off the table completely. 

>> Some concerns about the fact you are not regularly reporting more detail on the unlinked cases, so which suburbs they are from, if they were found in workplaces, (Inaudible) some distance from other cases and why exactly they are not linked. Why aren't you reporting those details in the interests of transparency? 

>> Often when we announce an unlinked case, interviews are underway. We may reflect an unlinked cases a day or more than 24 hours later. (Inaudible) I might hand over to Dr Bloomfield to give more detail there because he can make the judgement around someone's privacy. 

>> The number of unlinked cases is small and the information comes in over a period of a few days and that is from both interviews, so a person can be interviewed, if they are very unwell in hospital, they can take some days and there is a policy element and genome sequencing can come in a couple of days allows us to link cases. Where pertinent, I'm happy to be transparent and open about that. 

>> You have seen some unlinked cases have been at suburbs and we have been very clear. We have unlinked cases in Clover Park why we went through the surveillance week, simply previously with Mount Wellington, so really, we have tried to acknowledge where we have got a few question marks, where exposure events have not given us clues and have been basic things like supermarkets, then we have gone through a whole suburb approach to flush out protesting what might have happened. 

>> We understand there was a plan to build more negative pressure rooms at Middlemore Hospital that funding has been pulled. Can you explain why? 

>> I don't have the detail. I don't know if the funding was being... Has been pulled per se. It may have been there for another purpose and a proposal was put forward to use it for that. I will come back with the detail on why the decision was made but I have great confidence in the people who do make this decision. What I would say is of course as we start to plan for reconnecting New Zealand, there is a big program of work looking across the system including negative pressure ventilation rooms and the other thing about Auckland is there are three large hospitals so we look at the negative pressure ventilation across all three of those large hospitals rather than individual ones. 

>> Can this be a priority for not given the current COVID outbreaks how this would help to be (inaudible)? 

>> It may be but remembering the role of a negative pressure ventilation room is to keep small numbers of cases isolated. Once you get large number of cases, as has happened in Middlemore in this outbreak, then they put a dedicated waterside to just look after COVID-19... People COVID-19. --  Ward aside. Especially as we learn more about the aerosol transmission of the Delta virus in particular. 

>> For people who are now allowed to travel across a boundary in Auckland, can you shed more light on what documentation they should bring with them when they go to cross? 

>> Yes. For each circumstance, some education you can share with those who are at our border with our police force that indicates that you are indeed moving back into alert level II environments, it can be a sales and purchase agreement, any documentation to show you have a new job to start or if you are going to an educational facility, documentation demonstrating enrolment. That is looking for basic evidence that demonstrates what you're saying is the case and we are asking for that test before you depart. 

>> Some people have been caught out by the lockdown. It has cost them sums of money waiting to move house and stuff like that. It is government putting any thought or compensation? 

>> We have not but I want to acknowledge that this has been testing, this amount of time people have often put their plans on hold. I want to thank them for that. They put their community ahead of their needs and that will become at a huge amount of stress and personal toll full stop now is the time we believe we can safely get that move and starting again and I really encourage people, go out and get the test and you can move across the border once you have that result in hand. 

>> National has indicated in its COVID response plan it would let double vaccinated Kiwis come and go to New Zealand. 

>> Has that been released? 

>> They have indicated that they will let double vaccinated Kiwis come and go as we move towards Christmas. Can you make the same promise? 

>> Our priority is New Zealand as having the best summer possible and that does mean we can work very hard to get vaccine rates up to work on a framework that takes into account vaccination and it moves away from lockdowns. Anything else that you add into the mix too soon and before you are well prepared could risk summer and so we want to prioritise getting those domestic settings right for people so they can have the kind of break they had last year and then progressively move on the border in the first quarter of 2022. That has been our long stated plan. 

>> So that is why Kiwis overseas even with MIQ you cannot guarantee they will be back by Christmas? 

>> With MIQ, yes. Our border arrangements says they are while vaccinating New Zealanders but we have started, for instance, trial that will be undertaking this side of Christmas around South isolation. --  -- we will be. But also safely shorten the amount of time people use for isolation but what is really key is making sure what is happening domestically is every New Zealander already here as much freedom as possible. Most countries who have moved on the borders have done it last and often have delayed it because it does add extra pressure into some of your domestic restrictions if you move too quickly and outbreaks take off. 

>> And do you think that (inaudible) Kiwis fighting for 3800 rooms as an example of the system working well? 

>> In the middle of the year more or less we had vacancies so we see pressure coming on at the time you would expect, Kiwis wanting to come home to see family and friends and I totally understand that what we have to try and balance is enabling that to happen with those thousands of vouchers coming online, with (inaudible) in the New Year getting the settings rights it ultimately means we start to ease some of those restrictions there now. We have to make sure you are ready and we do not risk some of the freedoms that New Zealanders have had domestically at the same time. 

>> Can we get you to expand on the three clusters. What were the defining characteristics? Are they based (inaudible)? Shiver Dr Bloomfield? 

>> -- 


>> Two of these clusters are linked households and have a connection. Obviously, people have been moving between this household and that is why there... They have been called a sub cluster. There is evidence from genomic sequencing that they are linked. The third sub cluster which is one more urgent in the last week or two is associated with people who are in temporary or transitional accommodation arrangements. And so that is one that has just really come in the last week or two and for both of... For all three clusters they are requiring really intensive input and support and engagement from not just our health teams but a whole team from across the government and that is paying dividends and we are seeing certainly in a couple of those sub- clusters very good testing numbers coming through and also a strong interest in being vaccinated so the teams are working on that as well. And in terms of locations, still largely in South Auckland. 

>> (Inaudible) on the first doses vaccine (inaudible) 12,000. Does that concern you? What can be done to lift that number? 

>> Of course for me with it is what our total vaccination rates are looking like an around the 77% for first dose. That is really encouraging and the booking suggest we have the ability to get that 80% but we know that last 10 is really tough and what I would remind everyone is actually what matters is what our total population looks like in terms of the percentage that are vaccinated. And so because our children cannot be vaccinated, even at 90%, you end up somewhere around 75% of the population vaccinated. So a court are not. -- a court. -- 1/4 of the total. You don't want it impacting people like children so that is why those high numbers really matter, so on that I'm pleased that we are seeing it continued to check out. In Auckland we are sitting around the 80% mark. -- tick. We encourage everyone. 

>> On sub-clusters and transitional housing is that government emergency housing, in other words a hotel? Shiver no, not necessary. There is a bit of a mixture with some but it has involved (inaudible) as we had a boardinghouse involved. -- 


>> Is just one place and could you put MIQ star support around that one? 

>> Yes when we have accommodation of that nature where we may have a case, we ensure that people are able to safely isolate from one another -- and if they are not able to do that, we provide alternative facilities. 

>> (unknown term) where was the meeting that took place between (inaudible)? 

>> I am aware of the meeting. 

>> In terms of that process going ahead, obviously the police got involved to try and make it not a gathering despite the fact it seems there will be a lot of people there, things like social distancing unmasks (inaudible). Are you worried about the message it sends to people (inaudible) environment that the police are basically  helping an almost endorsing a protest like that going ahead? 

>> I'm not sure I would frame it in that way. Ultimately I need to leave them to do their job and I have confidence in them to do with every compliance issue they face with the right judgement because there are judgement calls in all of this. What I would say about the process generally, no one wants lockdowns. No one wants restrictions. No one wants a situation where particularly those who regularly engage with the community, be it through spiritual worship albeit through community groups or clubs or kids and their playgroups, no one wants them separated longer than they need to be, so I think probably the thing I struggle with with these processes is it almost implies that as governments we RK we have these restrictions. -- we are OK. -- I implore people to help us get back to normal and those gatherings they are looking for. 

>> (Inaudible) health perspective, Dr Bloomfield does it concern you that in a level III environment that you will have hundreds of thousands gathered? 

>> Hundreds of thousands? Quite a lot! 

>> Are you concerned about the health aspect of that because while the police are saying they will try and help them in a way (inaudible) together, we know how these things work and that will probably not end up being (inaudible) so that must be concerning for you surely. 

>> I'm not familiar with what is being proposed but I have 

>>Not sure what is being discussed here boat we will see this repeatedly during the logjam where we have had protests organise protests that have eventuated and organise protests that have not eventuated probably because of their dimension. I have confidence that they will be doing the right thing to minimise the public health risk. 

>>On vaccinations and looks like we might not have that 90% dose aspiration. How does that impact on (inaudible)?

>>It does not. It has an impact on our future. But we have been operating with the framework that has never been contingent on vaccines. You will have heard me say that in this room before. However, there is no question that the more people we have vaccinated, if you have a situation with this outbreak flares it gives us opportunities and it is critical for us to transition away from lockdowns. 

>> The details about the changes today, (inaudible) announced in the last few months?

>>Still I think we are waiting to see the true long- term impact. But there is no question that there is a lot of heat in the market and I think we would all be better off if we saw that it dissipated. I will just come down the back. 

>> On vaccines, what is she likelihood that this will be a requirement to go to supermarkets and workplaces and things?

>>There are certain places. It would be wrong to place a limit on somebody's access. You will see overseas that they have been using certain environments and others where it is essential services, health, supermarkets, pharmacies. It just wouldn't be right to place a limit like that on somebody's access. We would not opt to use that with some of those environments.

>> (Inaudible) given the low vaccination rate?

>>Yes, I'm not willing to concede that we are going to continue to have low vaccination rates, though. That is why we have been in discussions with some of our Maori health providers about what further support we can provide. Receiver this strong uptake in some of those groups where those providers are working with our older Maori individuals. I think we have the ability to get those rates up. But we will be talking around the use of vaccine certificates and with a wide range of individuals, including I expect people in the Maori community.

>> Just in terms of people presenting at the border (inaudible) Yi

>>We have been running a system where we have been asking people to bring evidence of their travel. There are certain travel that is permitted at the border. We checked that with the person at the border. There are others where we might be concerned that it is more of a judgement. For example, for a funeral, you have to go through an exemption process any need to go through the ministry of health and then they provide the documentation. We have tried to draw a line where it is a bit more of a subjective question. We tried to draw the line there.

>> For people to see a dying loved one or a funeral did they have -- to these changes today signal exemptions as well?

>> Exemptions for travel for funerals remain. One of the reasons for that is because it is a high risk gathering. A group of individuals who will come usually from level 2 environments, if we have someone coming in from Auckland, that is risky. It does pose a risk, particularly just given the nature of a funeral. So that is why we do have an exemption process. It does mean that close next of kin if you have lost a parent or a sibling you are able to get that exemption to travel, but it is still fairly limited.

>>For a dying loved one...

>> And also for a dying loved one.

>>There are already restrictions on hospital visits. Shouldn't those be exemptions as well?

>>That will be because of the protocols of the workplace environment. Hospitals and such environments to have protocols in place and that is just because of our environment. It is a sad case as we do have people who are presenting sometimes very unwell with COVID in those hospital environments. So those measures that are put in place are to protect those within the hospital.

>>You have an estimate on how many people are (inaudible)?

>> No, but what might be an indication as the number of people that have applied. 6000 have applied over that period. Off the top of my head I do recall a breakdown. It is not a large number, for instance, one that you would move for work or who had sold their home was in no more than about a thousand across some of these categories.

>>So if you thousand?

>> A few thousand. 

>>Do you see a role for rapid antigen testing?

>> If I may, this is where it is a good example were PCR is better than an antigen test because PCR testing right at the beginning of being unwell or right at the end of being unwell it will pick it up. I know that you will have read everything that there is about antigen testing, the window of infectiousness is shorter for it. It is good if you have regular testing, but not so good if you're doing one test only wanted make sure that somebody is not unwell. That is why it is good for surveillance in the future.

>>On your Facebook live JULIE-ANNE 

>>Did you watch?

>>Yes. I was notified.

>>There were more than 4000 comments on additive access.

>>Yes. They are all welcome to join my Facebook lives, but continue.

>> Are you concerned that the profile within Facebook will be hijacked by attacks and these comments? Have you lodged a complaint of this information? 

>>I think much of what Facebook does in this space is often automated. I just let them do their thing. I am not particularly worried by it. It is a point in time. My only concern is just that others, I hope others no that there is a bit of a concerted campaign, so not to assume that what is happening there is just regular parts of the public having a say. It is a group that is taking quite concerted activity at the moment. So long as other people are aware of it, that is the main thing. It is not going to stop me from sharing information and trying to share information.

>> With his anti- vaccination comments under Facebook live could calcify  -- tox if I below the line?

>>People can turn off comments. I would rather push through and still be available then not. On the flipside, the team is always cautious. We like to avoid using the filter too much so that is why Facebook have the automated process and we are quite happy for them to do that.

>>Why are Facebook's processes not filtering out anti-vaccination comments?

>>I am not au fait enough with that, so I might ask Doctor Bloomfield. I think some other outlets have experienced the same thing. Just a reminder it is a particular group. It is not even domestic. Some of it comes in from overseas. So long as people are aware that it doesn't represent our views.

>> People (inaudible) after this wastewater?


>>No, there is nothing to indicate that there is anything happening. We are doing some precautionary testing and that is no more that we asking anyway. If you have symptoms, go and get a test. As we wait for the final results. We are looking to see if any of our MIQ workers, there are over 50 of them, all but two are up-to-date with her testing. The other two are being followed up with her testing. Nothing at this stage. Just monitor for symptoms and get tested.

>>Without wastewater test have been connected to the driver not too long ago?

>>We think it is too far down the track to be linked to that driver.

>>We have been in the situations before. I remember very well there wastewater result that we had. And so it is often a matter of trying to reduce down some of the most likely options that we are hearing at the moment because we have an outbreak in Auckland than that does lead to a few more things that we need to really chase down. The best thing we can do is to the surveillance testing and we will go back and undertake photo wastewater testing again. We have narrowed down that nobody recently has left manage isolation but we cannot rule out people who have within the past con to manage isolation or who have had COVID who will continue to shed the virus. We know that has been an issue in the past. People can help us by getting tested.

>> Just quickly on (inaudible), how many COVID tests have been carried out on those organisations?

>> Door to door, I will definitely come back to you on that. There is not a lot of door to door. It is very targeted on specific streets where we knew there were cases. And or whether there was a location of interest like a dairy something about. There was a set of shops on a Dawson Road and there was some testing of all of the staff and we were using that and it happened yesterday. At the same time they also offered vaccination at the same time. But we can come back and let you know the number of streets where that has happened and also the providers might be doing it. Usually someone will provide Maori or Pacific advice. 

>> (Inaudible) is this approach likely to be continued?

>>It is. Some clusters are active around a transitional accommodation, to the team is looking at other places, similar places, and we can send testing teams out to other transitional accommodation places even if they have no cases, just to do some surveillance testing there. It is very targeted testing and we are using testing and vaccination at the same time.

>> (Inaudible) October 6. Are we bringing that alert down they have made tentative bookings and any desired gearing up again. Do you think that is a bit too pre-emptive?

>> I absolutely understand that people want to be able to plan, and COVID are so incredibly difficult for business, for people that want to plan our lives, for the school holidays and so on. But at this point in time we are generally doing a risk assessment every day based on the risk assessments. There is some volatility at the moment with the numbers being low. We will continue to ease restrictions when we feel it is safe to do so. We are keen to make progress, but to make progress in a way that we can keep and retain so that we don't see movement back and forth across different areas. And settings.

>> (Inaudible).

>> I said I would come back to you. 

>>Doctor Bloomfield, has a minister of health recognised that vaccination has happened overseas and people have got their first dose Janacek and in America. The Ministry of Health does not consider that secondary dose ?

>>They don't recognise it for what purpose? 

>> There just worried mainly about vaccine certificate in the future. They are now being contacted by Ministry of Health saying that they need to have a second dose.

>>That were just be because we need to have them.

>>First of all, we can provide some advice around which vaccinations are recognised to be able to travel into the country. So planning ahead for the future and the processes for how we will recognise those vaccines. The second is you said if people have had one or both vaccines abroad, it is not easy to enter those into the country. They may have had their first one like a Pfizer vaccine in the United States. We are working out our process where we can verify that for our immunisation register so they can be classified as fully vaccinated and then we will have them as part of our vaccine certification as we move forward. 

>> Will those be in place? 

>> That is hope and some will be able to do that manually and go to the GP and say they have the proof of having the vaccine and wear and entered into the system. 

>> I'm sure we can find a workaround. We have no intention of invalidating someone's legitimate vaccine if they have receded broad so making sure we have a fix for that. -- received a vaccine abroad. 

>> What would it take to initiate (inaudible)? 

>> I use both. Probably you can attest to that. I used interchangeably New Zealand and Aotearoa. I would like to constant new to see it used interchangeably. -- continue. It becomes part of the way refer to our country. 

>> (Inaudible) the system or method for determining how to recognise vaccines, can you rule out that the country in which the vaccine was given would be a factor? There has been some concern from countries in Africa, for example, around the UK, (inaudible) their vaccines differently than others even though it is the same Pfizer vaccine applied to Nigeria versus in France. 

>> We have had some practice with this around recognising tests, predeparture tests at the border, so it is not dependent on which country. It is being able to have in place a degree of certainty around that, that the proof is able to be verified, and that may be easier in some countries than others, for example, where they have an electronic, already have an electronic passport or vaccination certificate but it will not be country dependent. Shipping OK, thank you, everyone. 

>> (Inaudible). 

>> I had the chance to be present for the Governor General's last Executive Council yesterday afternoon and she has had an extraordinary five years. New Zealand has been through such a tragedy and she has been there as a constant, reassuring face and she has done an incredible job, so from me, I would just say thank you.

Back to top