NZ pilots association calls on Government to vaccinate all NZ police as soon as possible

The association calls the decision 'an error'.
The association calls the decision 'an error'. Photo credit: Getty Images

The president of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA) has described the Government's decision to put regular police officers to the back of the vaccination line as "an error".

NZALPA senior officers recently met their New Zealand Police Association counterparts and were surprised to learn that the bulk of Aotearoa's police officers are in the last tranche of New Zealanders to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Police working at the border or in MIQ facilities are eligible for the vaccine now, while all other police officers must wait until the general population receive their vaccinations from July. 

"As professionals whose work regularly takes us throughout the country and across our international border we've been living with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's quarantine, restrictions and lockdowns every day," said NZALPA's president and international pilot, Captain Andrew Ridling. 

"We've seen how tricky this virus and its variants can be, and its ability to sneak through any gaps in local community defences.  

"To deny the vast majority of our police officers' access to a vaccination that is available right now, when we are asking those same police officers to work closely with some of our most vulnerable New Zealanders every day, has not been thought through."

In a statement, NZALPA called on the Government "not to delay" administering COVID-19 protection to all New Zealand police officers.