High Court Decision On Sharing Māori COVID-19 Vaccination Data
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield:
The Ministry of Health respects today’s decision in the High Court on the sharing of Māori COVID-19 vaccination data with the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (Whānau Ora).
While the Court has commented on aspects of the Ministry’s decision making in making data available to both Whānau Ora and other Māori organisations, it has not directed the Ministry to release all data to Whānau Ora, acknowledging the progress made by the Ministry. The Ministry is required to:
1. Complete its process of making decisions about providing the data, in those areas where it has not yet agreed to provide data to the applicants.
2. Review its decision to provide data in relation to those Māori in Te Ika-a-Māui/North Island who have had only a first dose, in light of the Ministry’s publicly announced position in relation to the general population who have had only one dose.
The Ministry is now taking steps to meet those requirements.
The Ministry is currently consulting a number of iwi about data-sharing with Whānau Ora and will inform these iwi of today’s decision.
The Ministry wishes to acknowledge and thank the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for their significant contribution to the overall effort to raise Māori vaccination rates across Te Ika a Māui.
Māori health providers who don’t already have access to specific, local data should talk to their usual DHB contact or to the Ministry.
Since September, the Ministry has been sharing data with Whānau Ora about people who are unvaccinated and enrolled with Whānau Ora services.
The Ministry has been open to continuing to share data with WOCA, including individual level data where appropriate. Specifically, we could see the merit of providing smaller sets of personal information with WOCA for specific locations, with an expectation that providers will work together to reach the unvaccinated populations.
· It was important to include iwi in the Ministry’s decision-making process for new data-sharing agreements, and the Ministry has consulted iwi across the North Island.
· The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency requested that the High Court direct the Ministry to provide data identifying every Māori in Te Ika a Māui (the North Island) who is not fully vaccinated. The Ministry had declined to provide this data, on the scale requested.