Four airport security officers are challenging the Government's COVID-19 'no jab, no job' policy in court.
The group lost their jobs after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine - something that is mandated since they worked at the border to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Their lawyer, Sue Grey, went to the Wellington High Court to challenge the legality of the order and ended up debating what COVID-19 actually was.
"We've got people that test positive that don't have symptoms. It seems to be an art more than a science, perhaps you could say it like that," Grey says.
"Sure, but I think I can safely assume COVID exists, can't I?" Justice Francis Cooke responds.
COVID-19 does exist and the Government mandates clearly state that managed isolation and quarantine, border, and port workers must get the vaccine.
"Since April this year, these workers have been coerced and bullied to receive a novel mRNA injection," Grey says.
The four aviation security officers have name suppression and we can't reveal which airport they worked at. Some claim they didn't even interact with international air travellers but were told on August 26 they'd be fired for not getting the Pfizer vaccine by the end of that month.
Lawyers acting for COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told the court he wanted to speed up vaccinations in high-risk areas where the virus was more likely to get in.
"The Minister said, 'It's not going fast enough, I want to look at other options,' and this was the reference to stronger regulatory levers," lawyer Austin Powell says.
More from the Crown will be heard in court on Friday.