Yardley v Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Judicial review proceedings brought by three Police and Defence Force workers against the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Specified Work Vaccinations) Order 2021. The High Court upheld the challenge, finding that the Order imposed an unjustified limitation on the applicants' rights, and that the limit was not demonstrably justified. The Court was not satisfied that the Order advanced the purpose for which it was created, namely to ensure the continuity of public services and maintain public trust in those services. The number of workers affected across Police and NZDF was small, and there was nothing to suggest internal vaccination policies could not achieve the objective. Further, the emergence of the Omicron variant meant that a threat existed for both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and the Order did not make a material difference in that regard. The Order was accordingly set aside.




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