27 Sep 2021

Legal challenge against vaccination order dismissed by High Court

6:37 pm on 27 September 2021

A legal challenge against the mandatory vaccination order for border workers has been dismissed by the High Court.

18072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington High Court.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The applicant - an employee who was let go from her job with Customs because she refused to be vaccinated - brought the judicial review, which was heard last week.

The woman argued the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act did not allow for such an order to be made, and that the order was too heavy-handed.

She said there were protections in section 9 of the Act, and there was no way the Covid-19 Response Minister could have been satisfied these were met when signing off on the order.

In his decision, Justice Churchman disagreed with both the points, saying the order had been clearly and carefully considered.

"The submission that in making the Vaccinations Order, the Minister did not consider social and economic factors is untenable in the light of the contents of the affidavit of Mr Hipkins and the detail in the briefing papers that he received.

"The claim that the Order could have resulted in 'mass terminations of employment' also seems to be an over-statement," he said.

The applicant had sought an order to declare the vaccination order invalid and that they be set aside.

The woman has interim name suppression.