One of our subscribers forwarded yesterday’s article “NZ Government Formulated Policy Contrary to Evidence They Had on Their Own Computers. Why?”on the Wellington Region health data leak to their local New Lynn MP Dr. Deborah Russell, Minister for Statistics and Associate Minister for Justice. Surprisingly, he received a very prompt reply.
Dr. Russell cited an opinion piece from Bloomberg (a US magazine, not a scientific publication) in support of her contention that New Zealand has had negative excess mortality for “the last few years”. She suggests that this article illustrates that “that the vaccine has not caused deaths and in fact has prevented them”.
The article said no such thing and I don’t know why Dr. Russell would make the elementary mistake of linking to an article whose main substance appears to run contrary to her assertions.
During the last three years New Zealand has had negative excess mortality in only one year—2020. Covid vaccination was not offered in 2020, and there were very few sporadic cases of Covid infection. Therefore Covid vaccination cannot have had any effect on reducing deaths in 2020. For this obvious reason, the Bloomberg piece does not in fact suggest that vaccination had anything to do with the reduced mortality in 2020, it says that NZ’s remote geographic location, border closures, and lockdowns instituted by Jacinda Ardern reduced the incidence of influenza and prevented Covid entering the country. It also notes that these policies had a huge negative impact on NZ’s economy.
In every subsequent year, 2021, 2022, and so far in 2023, NZ has had excess all-cause mortality. Recent figures indicate it is running around 15% above historical trends. These figures are consistent with and supported by the leaked hospitalisation data. In the Wellington Region the number of heart attacks resulting in hospitalisation has increased by 83%. Hospitalisation for myocarditis up by one third (33% increase). Miscarrriage, stillbirths, and strokes all up by a quarter (25% increase). Acute kidney injury (AKI) up by 40%. Incidence of some cancers is also markedly up.
The social conditions and government pandemic policies applying in 2020 were completely different from those applying in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Conflating the statistics from all four years together in order to come up with some kind of average mortality report card doesn’t make any kind of statistical sense. Moreover by 2023 it is not disputed by anyone that NZ’s health outcomes have declined markedly from historical pre-pandemic levels and crucially are becoming steadily worse. The question we asked is WHY?
Dr. Russell is the Minister of Statistics but chose to bypass answering any of the specific alarming rises in hospital statistics discussed in our articles (see here, here and here). This is disappointing, her Statistics and Justice ministerial portfolios suggest she ought at the very least to investigate and ask questions about unprecedented elevated rates of illness which are overwhelming our health service personnel and degrading the standard of care and health outcomes—both an injustice and a statistical anomaly.
Instead Dr Russell launched into an attempt to denigrate my academic qualifications and my right to comment. So this is the kindergarten level game she wants to play. I am surprised she would do so without first communicating with me or checking her facts. She asserted “He claims to have a PhD in Psychology” and said that the awarding institution “is not recognised by the American Psychological Association”.
For the record, I have an undergraduate degree in Logic and Theoretical Physics from the University of Sussex. A post graduate diploma in education from Canterbury Teachers College, Christchurch. My MA thesis was in mastery learning in mathematics. I obtained my PhD from Maharishi International University (MIU) founded in 1973 in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. MIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the accrediting agency for universities and colleges in the North Central region of the US. The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
MIU does not currently offer programs in Psychology, I believe it ceased doing so in the early 2000s. It has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). Its graduate programmes have an outstanding job placement record and personal satisfaction ratings.
Professional associations are not in fact university accreditation bodies as Dr. Russell appears to imply. They can ‘endorse’ particular courses, but the American Psychological Association would not have had any reason to endorse MIU Psychology courses at any time in the past because the courses were never clinical in nature, they are research-based as was my PhD work which used panel regression analysis and time series analysis to analyse social indicators.
Also for the record, I was the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society on crime in 1996. My research into the effects of meditation on health and well being is published in peer reviewed journals. I have a long standing association with the biotechnology testing and safety industry and was formerly a senior manager at Genetic ID.
You can draw your own conclusions about the efforts of the current Government to deflect any criticism of their ongoing Covid policies. To silence debate, they appear ready to ignore alarming statistics and quash any open discussion or dissenting voices. This is politicking at its worst, seeking to displace rational science with the misinformed and strident demagoguery of parliament. We need to leave this behind.
It is all the more deplorable because people’s health is at stake. The Hatchard Report is asking for a rational debate to address the causes of the health crisis that is sinking our national health service. People who have fallen sick or lost loved ones deserve answers, treatment, and recompense. The health service itself requires emergency support to meet the evolving crisis.
Who will step up to the plate?
The Minister of Statistics and Associate Minister of Justice responded, but failed to address the key data. The situation requires cool heads and calm minds, people need to step back, avoid personal attacks and political prejudices. The data is too alarming. Don’t reach for an emotional response, reconsider the facts. We all love New Zealand and we are all hoping for the best outcomes for everyone. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and seeking answers. In times of crisis, you have to deal with the information that is in front of you. The leaked Wellington Region health data raises completely new issues to be considered with the utmost attention to detail and the implications for future health policy. It appears clear that the Covid vaccine rollout needs to be paused, pending this investigation.