Want help with your feedback on the Terms of Reference for the Covid Inquiry?

You’ve come to the right place.

NZ’s Covid-19 Inquiry Timeline

Like many countries around the world, New Zealand has begun its inquiry into the Covid-19 response.

The first iteration began under the Labour government in 2023. It was limited in scope, omitted critical investigation areas, and remained conducted behind closed doors.

Following the 2023 General Election, the National / New Zealand First and National / ACT Coalition Agreements outlined new parameters for the Covid-19 Inquiry.

New Zealand First called for a new independent inquiry, while ACT indicated an intention to broaden the scope of the existing inquiry.

On the 2nd of February, ACT Minister Brooke van Velden announced broader Terms of Reference for the existing Covid-19 Inquiry. The release was criticised by those eager to see Covid-19 vaccine safety, adverse events, and injuries clearly outlined and included in the investigation.

On the 8th of February, the NZ Royal Commission published an invitation to the NZ public to share their experiences via an online form. They state:

“It’s really important that we hear from people like you. Understanding your experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic will help to ensure Aotearoa New Zealand is as prepared as possible for future pandemics.

You can share your experiences by using our online survey, where you’ll be asked two broad questions:

Question 1: Looking back – what would you like the Inquiry to know about your experiences of the pandemic?

Question 2: Moving forward – what lessons should we learn from your experiences so we can be as prepared as possible for a future pandemic?”

We expect the Royal Commission will be inundated with responses from Kiwis from all walks of life.

The previous government’s response to Covid-19 seriously impacted the lives of New Zealanders in ways that many will find hard to fathom. Your feedback on your experience is essential. We have all been given the opportunity to be heard, and we should take it.

Feedback is due on 24 March 2024.

The 2 Types of Feedback Requested

The Royal Commission has called for your feedback on the Covid-19 Response.
Feedback is to be given in two parts via an online form.

1. Personal Experiences of the Government’s Covid-19 Pandemic Response

What would you like the Inquiry to know about your experiences of the pandemic?

2. Suggested Terms of Reference for the Covid Inquiry

What lessons should we learn from your experiences so we can be as prepared as possible for a future pandemic?

What do ‘Scope’ and ‘Terms of Reference’ mean?

Terms of Reference

In the current inquiry, the Terms of Reference make up the whole of the ‘rules’ surrounding the inquiry and what the Commissioners are empowered to do and review. Read more here.

Scope

The topics to be covered by the commissioners and the substance are set out under the Scope of the Inquiry.

Generally, a term or ‘scope’ is a statement of what the inquiry is required to look at, call evidence on, and make findings about. It could be a question or a topic.

Your Feedback

Your suggestions for the Terms of Reference do not require a lot of substance behind them, but some justification will further support the scope you’ve proposed to be considered by the government.

The feedback survey is designed to reflect on your experiences of the Covid response and to understand how your experiences inform your suggestions for topics to be covered in the inquiry.

Feedback is due 24 March 2024

We advise spending time on your feedback to ensure it includes the information and issues that are most important to you.

The two feedback survey fields (‘Looking Back’ – your experiences, and ‘Looking Forward’ – your suggestions for the Covid-19 Inquiry) are limited to 10,000 characters each. This works out to be around 1500 – 2500 words per section.

It may help to create your response in a document that can be checked, then copied and pasted once you are ready to complete the survey.

We will run a webinar in the coming weeks on this process. However, if you need help in the meantime, perhaps reach out to your local VFF group members for support.

Voices for Freedom is here to help!

We know that giving feedback to the Government can be a daunting process, especially with such an important topic!

The VFF team, under the leadership of our Head of Legal, Katie Ashby Koppens, has compiled a comprehensive Terms of Reference for NZ’s Covid-19 Inquiry for you to use.

We are putting the finishing touches on the document, which will be available in the next few days.

Register your interest to receive further details on our suggested Terms of Reference for use in your feedback.

VFF’s Terms of Reference – An Overview

From prior pandemic planning to PCR testing, legislation to lockdowns, MIQ to mandates, safety studies to surveillance, and everything in between, you won’t want to miss out on utilising VFF’s comprehensive Terms of Reference document in your feedback.

1. NZ’s Government Response

2. NZ’s Preliminary Response

3. NZ’s Border Response

4. NZ’s Vaccine Response

5. Social & Economic Impact