COVID-19: Jacinda Ardern press conference in Northland shut down after heckler hijacks question time

The Prime Minister was forced to shut down a COVID-19 press conference in Northland within minutes after a heckler hijacked reporters' question time.

Jacinda Ardern had been speaking to media in Te Tai Tokerau on Tuesday after the Government announced a $23 million boost to community-led Māori vaccination campaigns.

But at least one person could be heard singing and chanting over the press conference and another jumped in on the press gallery's questions to ask if she could name the person who died from the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Forgive me, sir," she said as he continued speaking over her. "Sir, I'll direct questions among those who are attributed here to ask questions."

After taking more questions from members of the gallery, the man - a member of a known COVID-19 disinformation group - chimed in once more asking about the vaccine's efficacy in Israel.

"Sir I will shut down the press conference if you do not cease," she said.

He did not, and the press conference was shifted to a new location and got underway again a few minutes later.

The $23 million boost to Māori vaccination campaigns comes with Māori jab rates lagging behind the rest of the population.

Just over 53 percent of the eligible Māori population is fully vaccinated, compared to 75 percent of the general population. 

More than 5000 doses were administered among Māori on Monday, however, bringing the proportion of eligible Māori with at least one dose to 72.28 percent.