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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

The Road Ahead: Unraveling New Zealand's Health Policy and Sovereignty Dilemma with the WHO

Updated: Apr 6



Please take a few minutes to read Keri's article about the World Health Organisation’s proposed amendments to International Health Regulations, then come back to this article.


Here is Keri's article as a PDF:

RATCHETTING UP POWERS OVERSEAS - WHO
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Introduction:

In the ever-evolving landscape of global health regulations, New Zealand finds itself at a crucial crossroads. Proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) by the World Health Organization (WHO) have ignited discussions with the potential to reshape our nation's approach to health and sovereignty. As I contemplate our stance on these amendments, there are both proponents and opponents, with concerns stemming from issues of public participation, sovereignty, the impact on indigenous communities, and the potential imposition of inadequately tested or potentially unsafe medications and public health practices. Furthermore, there are significant doubts regarding the safety and effectiveness of mRNA vaccines, and their future use in the containment of pandemics.


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The WHO's Proposals:

At the core of this discussion are the WHO's proposed amendments to the IHR, with a particular emphasis on Article 59. These amendments aim to expedite the adoption of new health rules, reducing the approval period by states from two years to just one. The intention is to streamline decision-making processes in response to global health challenges.


The Concerns:

However, beneath these proposed changes lie a host of concerns that merit careful consideration.


1. Public Input and "Tacit Acceptance":

A significant concern raised is the adequacy of public involvement in these critical decisions. I worry that our government might be embracing these changes without seeking the valuable opinions of those who will be directly impacted. This lack of transparency is commonly referred to as "tacit acceptance," a practice that involves making decisions without soliciting public input. I fear that we may find ourselves excluded from shaping rules that have a profound impact on our well-being and sovereignty.


2. Sovereignty in the Balance:

Sovereignty, our country's ability to make its own decisions independently, is a core concern. New Zealand prides itself on its autonomy in determining its health policies and regulations. However, agreeing to these rapid global health rule changes without thorough public debate could potentially compromise this sovereignty. I worry that New Zealand might have to adhere to international health standards, set by an unelected global institution, even if these standards don't align with our unique values and needs. This shift in power dynamics could limit the government's ability to act in the best interests of its citizens.


3. Maori Perspectives:

Amid these concerns, there is a specific focus, by some concerned parties, on the Treaty of Waitangi, a fundamental agreement between the Maori people and the British Crown that outlines their rights and responsibilities. The Maori Health Authority, Te Aka Whai Ora, expresses worry that these rapid changes may not sufficiently consider the rights and interests of the Maori population. They fear that the amendments might be implemented without recognising the Treaty's significance, potentially jeopardising Maori well-being.


4. Health Decision-Making and Public Safety:

The WHO's proposed changes could bestow greater powers on the organisation to declare health emergencies and make critical decisions on diagnostics, medicines, vaccines, lockdowns, and more. While these changes aim to enhance global health coordination, concerns arise when these decisions are not subject to broad public scrutiny. New Zealand might be obligated to follow global health rules even if they contradict the nation's unique needs, potentially compromising the government's ability to protect its citizens effectively.


5. Imposition of Untested or Potentially Unsafe Medications:

A growing concern is the potential imposition of inadequately tested or potentially unsafe medications and public health practices on New Zealand. The speed at which these changes are being considered may not allow for thorough scrutiny and assessment of new regulations. History provides cautionary examples of Thalidomide and Vioxx, where inadequately tested medications caused significant harm. I worry that a similar scenario could unfold if due diligence is not exercised.


6. mRNA Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness:

In addition to these concerns, there are significant doubts about the safety and effectiveness of mRNA vaccines, which are likely to be the drugs of choice for future pandemics. While they have been widely administered for CVOVID-19, there remains ongoing debate about their effectiveness and side effects. The urgency with which these vaccines were developed and distributed has raised serious and, as yet, unanswered questions about whether proper safety measures were followed.


A Call to Action:

In light of these multifaceted concerns, I call upon all New Zealanders to raise their voices and actively engage in the ongoing discussions. Your involvement and opinions matter, as they shape the future of health policy and governance in this nation. We are almost out of time.


It is crucial to immediately bring these concerns to the attention of our legislators and decision-makers. I encourage you to contact your local representatives, engage in open dialogue with community leaders, and participate in discussions around the proposed changes to the IHR.


New Zealand's sovereignty and the health of its citizens are at stake. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the decisions made in the coming days reflect the values, needs, and well-being of the people of New Zealand. Your voice is your power, and together, we can safeguard the future of our nation's health and autonomy.

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