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Statement attributable to Margie Apa, Chief Executive Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora   


Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora has today started the process of notifying individuals impacted by the alleged unauthorised data release by a former staff member.


We deeply regret what happened and apologise sincerely to those affected.  We are making information, advice and support available to individuals being notified.


The first group we are contacting is a large number of COVID 19 vaccinators whose personal information was in a downloadable file on a United States based blogsite. As soon as we found out about this, we asked for the information to be removed. It was later taken down.


There is also a small group of vaccinated people who, through the use of considerable effort and technical expertise, could potentially be identified within information earlier made publicly available.


We have vigorously pursued legal avenues to have the data removed in line with Employment Relations Authority orders that prohibit the sharing or public release of data from the unauthorised disclosure.  We will do this wherever we become aware of further unauthorised use or disclosure.


We continue to cooperate with Police and work closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.


This is a highly complex situation, and our investigation is ongoing.  We are working with local and international cyber security experts to assist and monitor for signs of the data being disclosed online.


To date we have identified around 12,000 people who need to be individually located and notified and this number may rise and take some time to work through.


Health NZ is committed to learning from incidents of this nature. We are improving internal controls and strengthening data security measures to help prevent something like this happening again.


The misinformation about vaccines put in the public arena in relation to the alleged unauthorised data release is completely wrong.  Vaccines remain safe.


The role played by vaccinators during the pandemic was invaluable and helped to keep communities safe and save lives.





Editor’s note: Further comment -


We cannot comment further about the former employee or the particulars of matters currently before the courts.


We are unable to comment beyond what is contained in this media update and the statements already released on this issue which are available on our website.  We will continue to provide updates as and when appropriate.


Editor’s note: Non-publication orders -


1.               In relation to this matter a non-publication order was made on 1 December 2023 by the Employment Relations Authority (Orders).  The Orders restrict all access, use and publication of information held by Health NZ on the National Vaccination Database, or any copies, extracts or information derived from it. 


2.               The Orders apply to you if you have obtained, or may obtain, access to or otherwise may be or have been provided with information from the Database. 


3.               The orders are effective immediately and require that you:


(a)             Must not disclose to any third party or publicly release any information held by Health NZ on the National Vaccination Database (Database) or any copies, extracts or information derived from it (Information).


(b)             Must not access or perform any set of operations on the Information or any copies, extracts or other sets of information derived from the Information, including using, accessing, searching, reviewing, copying, sharing, publishing, making available to any member of the public, transferring or disclosing the Information.


(c)              Must permanently delete any and all copies of the Database, any versions of the Information and any other unlawfully obtained information in your possession and control.