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Legal Papers Filed Under Urgency – Again – By Whānau Ora

Whānau Ora have filed papers requesting an urgent judicial review of the decision by Director- General of Health Ashley Bloomfield who blocked Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency access to Māori health data.

This is the second time WOCA has been forced to take legal action against the Ministry of Health, who know where Māori who are not vaccinated are located, but will not pass on that or their contact information on.

A fortnight ago, Wellington High Court Justice Cheryl Gwyn, ruled WOCA should receive the data and requested Bloomfield review the MoH decision.

But against the expressed wishes of Health Minister Andrew Little and Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson, Bloomfield ruled the MoH decision would stand.

Today, six days after Bloomfield’s decision, WOCA lawyers refiled papers outlining a new timetable under urgency, and requesting Justice Gwyn preside over this matter again as she is familiar with the case.

Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said since filing the first court action on November 7 2021, there has been a further 1504 (up to 10 October 2021) Covid cases among Māori, who are now the majority of all new Covid cases.

“The Ministry of health is playing hard and fast with Māori lives,” Raukawa-Tait said.

“The ongoing roadblocks by Bloomfield and the Ministry of Health is taking its toll on Māori whānau.”

Raukawa-Tait said time was of the essence as the government readies the country to border reopenings in time for Christmas.

“We must be given an opportunity to vaccinate as many Māori whānau as possible before the borders reopen and Covid starts to run rampant in our communities,” she said.



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