Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis takes crack at anti-vaxxer who shouted 'Prime Sinister' at Jacinda Ardern

Kelvin Davis had few words for anti-vaxxers who interrupted the Prime Minister's Northland press conference: "Obviously they think they're smarter than the virus."

The Labour Party deputy leader's comments came after Jacinda Ardern's press conference in Kawakawa on Tuesday was cut short due to a man repeatedly speaking over her, with claims about the COVID-19 vaccine "not working" in Israel. 

"Sir, I'm going to answer the questions of accredited media. I will shut down the press conference if you do not cease," Ardern responded. 

The man, joined by a camera operator, continued speaking over the Prime Minister. 

"You are still pushing it in New Zealand. It's rude to lie to the public of New Zealand."

Ardern then made the call to move the press conference inside. 

"Accredited members of the gallery here, we might move to an inside venue, unfortunately we've got someone who's disrupting your press conference today, so we might reconvene."

The anti-vaxxer shouted as she left: "I bet you will go inside. Bye, Prime Sinister!"

Israeli data has shown a drop in the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine, but a recent Israeli study published in the Lancet found that booster shots were 92 percent effective at preventing serious illness.

The booster shots have been widely credited with helping Israel - which has a lower rate of vaccination than New Zealand - overcome a fourth wave of the virus.

Davis, MP for Te Tai Tokerau, said it wasn't helpful to have people trying to discourage vaccinations in Northland, which is lagging behind with 65 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated compared to Auckland on 81 percent. 

Māori vaccination rates are also trailing, with just 53 percent of the eligible Māori population fully vaccinated compared to 75 percent of the general population. The Government just announced a $23 million boost to community-led Māori vaccination campaigns.

"I don't think it helps what we're trying to do here to protect whānau, to protect whakapapa, and to have people think that what's going on is not reality. 

"I think they're just living in a strange world," Davis said. 

"Our focus is on making sure as many of our people as possible get vaccinated to protect their whānau, to protect their whakapapa, and that sort of stuff doesn't help whatsoever."

Ardern said it's her understanding that anti-vaxxers aren't a large group in New Zealand. 

"We actually know that the number of people who would be described as what's often called anti-vaccination, is a relatively small number in New Zealand," she told reporters after resuming her press conference. 

"As I've said all the way through this, we do need to create an environment where, if people have questions and concerns, they're able to raise them. 

"We don't want a situation where someone doesn't feel like if they've got a worry or a concern about the vaccine that they can't ask for it, because that won't take us anywhere. 

"But we do need people to come forward, talk to health professionals, someone they trust - they're local iwi provider, their whanau, anyone - to have that conversation so that they can hopefully make that decision to be vaccinated."

Ardern isn't concerned about Northland not reaching the 90 percent vaccination rate needed for it to transition to the new traffic light framework.

"I'm not willing to accept that we can't reach those rates. I absolutely believe they can be achieved. 

"When you look at different age ranges and different ethnicities, you can see that those rates have been achieved. It's about achieving that more broadly across a wider range of age groups. 

"We know, for instance, there is an issue with getting our young - our rangitahi - vaccinated. We do see our young people more exposed to misinformation online in particular, so that is a place where we have to put in a lot of effort."

Ardern said the Government doesn't want to "leave anyone behind". 

"I've had conversations with people who have pretty firmly held views but all of us will still give it a go because we want everyone to be protected.

"The most important people to share those messages though, are people from within the community, members of families, people who are known and trusted.

"Yes, we have a job to do though in making sure that those people are supported to be able to do that work on the ground. 

"Misinformation exists everywhere but it is still a minority voice - a loud one but still a minority voice."