Businesses banned from displaying vaccination status: The 'unintended consequence' of the Government's rammed through traffic light law

The Government's 'traffic light' law was just rammed through Parliament at record speed - passed in under 24 hours.

But an employment lawyer says there's a major mistake that'll ban businesses from displaying their vaccination status. 

Despite the Ministry of Health working up draft 'fully vaccinated' posters set for summer, the Government has accidentally made displaying them illegal. 

"Wanting to put a nice sticker on the window saying 100 percent vaccinated come on in - technically under the wording of this legislation that is an offence," Bridget Smith, Partner at SBM Legal, told Newshub. 

The Government rushed through a Bill on Wednesday to back up the traffic light framework and vaccination requirements.

But Smith says the bit of law which says businesses can't disclose the vaccination status of their employees doesn't have a consent caveat, meaning even if their employees agree, businesses can't advertise they're all fully vaccinated. 

"What you would call an unintended consequence of a piece of legislation that has been drafted very quickly," Smith says. 

ACT leader David Seymour says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should have picked up on it. 

"While Jacinda was doing a little dance she should've been doing a little bit of legal drafting to get ready for this."

The legislation was rammed through under urgency in less than 24 hours - a process that normally involves public input and takes weeks or even months. 

Ardern denies the Government is abusing its power and using its majority to push the legislation through. 


Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt is concerned about the supersonic speed. 

"When these matters are pushed through under urgency then scrutiny is diminished and public engagement is lessened," he told Newshub. 

But he's not as concerned as the Opposition. 

"It is a constitutional disgrace," National's COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop said in Parliament. 

National MP Simon Bridges screamed down the House.

"Giving to capacious, capricious, carpaccio loving ministers," he said. "It is giving them the power to do whatever they want!"