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From The Health Forum NZ: "The uniformed professionals affected by the Vaccine Order are committed professionals who have served New Zealanders for decades. Some have risked their lives domestically or deployed on operations overseas. Many have received commendations and awards for their work."

A group of uniformed professionals from the New Zealand Police and NZDF have applied to the High Court for judicial review of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Specified Work Vaccinations) Order 2021 (the Vaccine Order).

The Vaccine Order will result in hundreds of dedicated uniformed professionals being discharged from service if they are not fully vaccinated by 28 February 2022.

The Vaccine Order does not allow the genuinely held religious beliefs of some workers to be considered, and does not allow the use of alternative ways to keep people safe, for example regular testing. The Vaccine Order will also have a disproportionate impact on Māori in Police and Māori in the communities supported by them as it will result in a higher proportion of Māori being discharged than other ethnicities.

There are two police applicants and one NZDF applicant. They represent and are supported by a group of hundreds of affected uniformed professionals.

This case is not about being “anti-vaccine”. The group cares about the health of all New Zealanders. In making the Vaccine Order the government has turned what should be a health issue into an issue of fundamental human rights.

The uniformed professionals affected by the Vaccine Order are committed professionals who have served New Zealanders for decades. Some have risked their lives domestically or deployed on operations overseas. Many have received commendations and awards for their work.

Anyone who would like to support the group can do so by making a donation which will support their cause at the following link:

https://unitedwestand.nz/support.

The following may be attributed to a spokesperson for the group:

“This lawsuit is about much more than our careers, it is about the very freedoms and values of all New Zealanders that we have sworn to protect. It is not right that this government has disregarded our fundamental rights when we have dedicated our professional lives to serving this country.”

“We support the right of all New Zealanders to choose whether to be vaccinated.”

“This government has forgotten that all unvaccinated Kiwis are part of the team of five million as well.”

“We are asking for support from all New Zealanders. Please write to your local member of parliament, and speak out against this.”

The following may be attributed to Matthew Hague, the lawyer representing the group:

“The Vaccine Order is wrong. It does not allow consideration of exceptional individual circumstances and will have a disproportionate effect on Māori. The Vaccine Order does not allow other ways to keep people safe, for example regular testing.”

“Members of Parliament have had the freedom to decide whether to be vaccinated without legal risk to their livelihood, those in uniform deserve the same.”

“There is no justification for firing uniformed professionals because they are unvaccinated, when there are many jobs in the New Zealand Police and NZDF that do not require close contact with the public, for example administrative and support roles.”

A similar case within the United States has just ruled in favour of a group of Navy Seals by blocking the Pentagon from punishing them for not receiving the vaccine. The Judge concluded that “loss of liberties outweighs any forthcoming harm to the Navy” and that “the pandemic provides the government with no license to abrogate” individual liberties.

Contacts

Spokesperson for the group:

Matt King - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 021 228 4636 Lawyer representing the group: Matthew Hague - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 048890007

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