Will New Zealand end COVID-19 vaccine mandates in workplaces?

Health minister says 'some discussions, decisions' will be raised

Will New Zealand end COVID-19 vaccine mandates in workplaces?

New Zealand's health minister has revealed that they are still figuring out the coalition government's promise to end COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to reports.

This is despite government mandates on the COVID-19 jabs being lifted more than a year ago by the previous administration, raising the question of what the coalition government's pledge meant.

Radio New Zealand asked Health Minister Shane Reti, who said "no decisions have been made" regarding the commitment.

But the minister noted that there are still individual workplace arrangements surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Cabinet will discuss if it will be affected by the government pledge.

"What was exactly meant by that [coalition agreement]? Was it also meant [to cover] the workplace mandates as well?" Reti said as quoted by RNZ. "There'll be some discussions and decisions that we'll take to Cabinet and figure our way through."

Pledge to 'end all COVID-19 vaccine mandates'

New Zealand First secured the pledge when it joined the coalition government last year. In the coalition agreement between First and the National Party, it stated there that it will "uphold the principles of liberal democracy, including equal citizenship and parliamentary sovereignty."

This included the decision to "end all COVID-19 vaccine mandates still in operation."

But a spokesperson for First told RNZ that their team is "still working through the details" of the promise.

Government-imposed vaccine mandates in New Zealand covered a wide-range of industries, including health care and other high-risk sectors. But these mandates have since been lifted as the pandemic's impact waned and COVID-19 became more manageable in workplaces.

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