COVID-19: Chris Hipkins blames overseas vaxxed Kiwis 'supplying their information at the last minute' for vaccine pass delays

Chris Hipkins is blaming Kiwis for supplying their details at the last minute for delays in vaccine passes being issued to Kiwis who were vaccinated overseas. 

The COVID-19 Response Minister says there have been about 5000 vaccine passes issued so far to Kiwis who received their jabs overseas. 

Last month, Hipkins said there was a process in place for dealing with New Zealanders who got vaccinated overseas but said it could take up to 14 days to process. 

"A process has been put in place for people who have had their COVID-19 vaccinations overseas to have these recognised here and submit an application for My Vaccine Pass," Hipkins said.

"The application process for this may take up to 14 days as details will initially be manually entered into the COVID-19 immunisation register. 

"People are advised to prepare all their vaccine evidence from overseas and get their applications in as soon as possible."

At Wednesday's 1pm press conference, Hipkins said Kiwis "supplying their information at the last minute" is slowing the system down. 

"People who are supplying their information at the last minute are certainly cutting it fine," he said.

"I know the team is working really hard to try and process as many of them as fast as they can but particularly for overseas vaccine records there needs to be a degree of integrity in the way those are being processed and I'm confident there is.

"We have added extra capacity and there are an extra 400 people working in those teams now."

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield added that Kiwis who were vaccinated overseas should be able to download their My Vaccine Pass from 11:59pm on Wednesday night.  

"For those who have registered their details already because they were vaccinated overseas with an eligible vaccine, from 11:59pm tonight [Wednesday] they will be able to download their vaccine pass onto their phone or device or print it off, so that function is going live at midnight tonight," he said.

"For those who have not registered yet there may be a bit of a wait as the Minister [Hipkins] said but that functionality will be in the pass. 

"In the meantime, if people who have got a problem either because its an overseas vaccination or there was an issue with matching of names - we have around 80,000 queries that relate to NHI or names or so on - they are issued with a temporary pass that they can use in the meantime and we are working to get right through that backlog with a large number of people working on this." 

Newshub has heard from a number of recently returned Kiwis who have not been able to get a pass, including one who said: "my fiancé and I lived in Melbourne and returned in April. 

"She has received both her shots of the Pfizer vaccine and is working as a nurse here and apparently her proof of vaccination is enough to allow her to still work but she is unable to get the pass.

"This is infuriating."

Hipkins said there are still around 800,000 people who are fully vaccinated and have yet to get a vaccine pass.