Gisborne councillor was chastised for a Facebook message that contained vaccination disinformation.

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A Gisborne district councillor and health board member was chastised after spreading false claims about the Covid-19 vaccine on social media.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said in a Facebook post that New Zealanders were being asked to take a vaccine that had not been successfully trialled or, in her words, “met any real Medsafe approval.”

However, the medicines regulator approved the Pfizer vaccine on 3 February, citing a thorough review of its efficacy.

Local health board Hauora Tairawhiti was disappointed by the comments.

Akuhata-Brown told the Local Democracy Reporting service she posted after hearing the co-leader of the New Zealand Outdoors Party on talkback radio, but wasn’t promoting an anti-vaccine stance.

“If it means courageous conversations about information sharing then there’s always wins for me,” she said.

She said she had learned from the situation and hoped her post would start important conversations.


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