A Tongan medical health specialist with links to anti-vaccination protests and a group founded by Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has attacked Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, saying many lives may have been saved if his government told the public ”the truth” about the side effects of Covid-19 vaccines.
Dr Ate Moala made the claims during an interview this week with the Tongan Facebook media group Radio Television Tonga International (RTTI).
Reactions from listeners were mixed. Some commenters were suspicious and asked why she made the allegation during the run-up to the election.
Dr Moala claimed the Labour government and the Medical Council of New Zealand had forced doctors to lie to the public that the vaccines had no side effects.
Moala was referring to a recent statement by Hipkins saying that Covid-19 vaccines were not “compulsory” and the people were given the freedom to choose whether they vaccinated or not.
Moala described Hipkins’ statement in Tongan as: “‘A ia ko e fu’u loi ‘aupito pe foki ‘eni”.
In English this translates as: “This was of course an absolute blatant lie”.
She said political leaders had lied too much.
“We grew up and used to expecting our leaders to tell the truth, but now they used to tell lies”.
“When I think about their lies. It may have been okay if not many people had died from Covid vaccines.”
The registered doctor alleged Covid-19 vaccines had caused human hearts to swell, a symptom of a disease she said was known as “myocarditis” and it had killed young children and athletes.
Moala said the Prime Minister never considered the people who had lost their jobs because they did not want to be vaccinated of their own volition.
She said: “Nurses and doctors who lost their jobs because they were unvaccinated have yet to retain their jobs. Pharmacists, health workers, they are still unable to return despite Labour lying the mandate is over. That’s not true”.
The criticisms came as health experts this afternoon were warning the new COVID-19 variant might already be in New Zealand, but say it’s a variant of interest and not of concern yet.
Moala claimed that at one stage the government through the Ministry of Health and the Medical Council of New Zealand wrote and prohibited (“tapu”) all doctors from advising the public about the side effects of the vaccines.
She alleged the doctors were told to advise the public that the Covid-19 vaccines were safe and they would work just like Panadol tablets.
Moala has links to anti-mandate groups the Freedom and Rights Coalition and New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out with Science (NZDSOS).
She previously protested in the Freedom & Rights Coalition’s anti-government marches against Covid-19 lockdowns.
She was a candidate for Wellington City Council, and in her candidate statement, according to Stuff, she described herself as a public health expert, who “loathe(s) poor decision-making that violates people’s health, rights, and freedom”.
On Facebook, Moala sometimes tags Destiny Church leaders Brian and Hannah Tamaki in her Facebook posts about the Freedom & Rights Coalition. The self-styled Bishop Tamaki founded the Freedom and Rights Coalition.
The Broadcasting Standards Authority dismissed claims by Doctors Speaking Out with Science that a television broadcast in 2021 about the then new Pfizer vaccine was inaccurate.
In 2021 Stuff reported that 6500 doctors had signed an open letter supporting vaccination while Doctors speaking Out had 64 members.
Moala told RTTI that all vaccines had good and bad effects.
“But we weigh up the balance of good and bad effects of the vaccines”, she said.
“We all know that there are side effects of vaccines as we had been immunised previously for polio, rubella and meningitis. They all have side effects.
“But we doctors here in New Zealand were prevented from telling that to people”.
Moala claimed that on December 23 the Ministry of Health changed its stance on vaccine side effects and “urgently alerted family doctors to start telling the public that there were side effects of the vaccines, and it caused the heart to swell, which was the Myocarditis.”
“We are talking about the agenda and the leaders’ lying like Prime Minister’s Hipkin’s lying, saying the people were not forced. After all, people who did not immunise lost their jobs and businesses were closed”.
She claimed the Labour Party had been lying for a long time and their interest in people was their votes only.
“When the Leaders are lying and never tell the people the truth there were consequences. As I have just explained there were children and athletes who were healthy, but they suddenly collapsed and that because they had heart swelling or myocarditis,” Moala claimed.
She warned listeners to be wary of the coming election in October and such lying that comes from the leaders.
“This is a religious war as Satan was trying to take away many lives,” she claimed.
She then invited her co-hosts Dr Ana Mesui to share her experience with those who could not understand about Covid vaccines.
Mesui , an Associate Clinical Director for Pacific at ProCare Health, said most of her patients at the time did not want to be vaccinated.
“But it’s their own decision”, she said.
“But the narrative from the government at the time, just like what Ate has said, it (the vaccines) was 100 percent” safe, Mesui said.
She said no vaccines in the world were 100 percent safe.
“There is always a risk for everything”.
“So what I saw with some of my patients some of them have a rash, pains, drowsiness and heart diseases – rapid heartbeat.
She said the only response from the doctors in New Zealand were that the vaccines were 100 percent safe.
“So we are in an environment we are seeing people dying unexpectedly we turned to the government as we are relying on them and they said we did not force you”.
“But we know a lot of Tongan kāinga they did not want to vaccinate, but they had financial obligations for their families,” implying that prize draws , shopping vouchers and cash giveaways offered to people, schools and charities were an incentive to get vaccinated.
The RTTI programme show presenter Setita Tu’i’onetoa, who said she chose not to get vaccinated, credited the doctors for what she described as “revealing the truth to the people”.
The one-sided show racked up 882 comments, 52 shares and 260 reactions.
One asked Moala whether she favoured a particular political party.
She mentioned Freedom New Zealand, Brian Tamaki, Vision New Zealand and Alfred Ngaro.
Kaniva News has contacted the Prime Minster’s Office and the Medical Council of New Zealand for comments.