BOP health leader thunders dismay at gathering

Bay of Plenty DHB CEO Pete Chandler. Photo: Supplied.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board CEO Pete Chandler has come out scathing on Twitter at Saturday’s public gathering at Memorial Park. 

"Why would anyone stand in the path of a hurtling freight train and say 'I dare you'," thunders Pete in his tweet.

Hundreds of people assembled at the park to made a stand about 'freedoms' with very little social distancing, and no mask wearing apparent.

Pete's Twitter comments convey the sense of disheartenment that he believes will be felt by hundreds of health care workers who have been working intently across the Bay of Plenty to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with vaccinations clinics and testing.

The gathering at Memorial Park on Saturday October 30. Photo: Aaron Stuart-Menzies.

“My prediction of our outbreak by 30th November [is] probably too optimistic,” he writes further in his tweet, acknowledging the impending sense that many medical and healthcare workers have that its only a matter of time before the Delta virus breaks out in the Bay of Plenty region.


“It was deeply disturbing to see the huge crowds that gathered in Tauranga yesterday,” says Pete. “It may well have been a nice day out for many that attended but I can assure you that the Bay of Plenty Health Network is incredulous at this reckless and irresponsible event being held at this time of immense vulnerability for the Bay.


“Across our hospitals, Hauora providers, GP practices, medical centres, aged residential care and pharmacies we are all doing everything we can to support as many people as possible being safely vaccinated, applying maximum safeguards to prevent COVID getting into our facilities and to be as ready as we can to care for the unvaccinated who the virus will target.”


Pete says that over 95 per cent of the current delta outbreak hospital admissions are unvaccinated people.


“At current levels of vaccination across the Bay of Plenty, if delta hits in coming days and we are unable to contain it we have an extremely serious situation on our hands,” says Pete.


“This really is a race against the virus which is closing in around us and so we'd urge those who haven't yet got vaccinated to please, please do so while there is time. This is not a game and there is no undo button.”


Pete also tweeted on Saturday in response to a tweet by someone who says they are unable to go to their dermatologist for skin cancer treatment as they have not been vaccinated.

“Folks, are you not seeing what’s happened all over the world? The freedom we all want is in front of us as soon as we're safely vaccinated. Aside from some of our smallest rural communities nearly everyone's had the opportunity now but it's not too late,” wrote Pete in his tweet.

Saturday’s gathering at Memorial Park was made up of hundreds of people who were not practising social distancing or wearing masks, greatly increasing the likelihood of the Covid-19 virus being transmitted.

The gathering at Memorial Park on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.


“Events like yesterday significantly increase the risk of our first outbreak and it's like taunting the virus to come and get us,” says Pete.


“Without mask wearing and distancing, having so many people together in one place is indeed like standing in front of a hurtling freight train and saying ‘I dare you’.


“We may be lucky and dodge yet another bullet in the Bay however if we get any cases from yesterday's event- assuming that there was no tracer app use - it would be highly unlikely that we would be able to contain an outbreak given the number of people there.”


On Sunday morning Pete is imploring the Bay of Plenty community to get vaccinated.


“This is the biggest international health crisis in over 100 years and we have the benefit of history and science available to us to keep safe,” says Peter.


“This is not a government issue it is an issue of a deadly virus being spread by humans. Our behavior and our choices have consequences and we all want freedom but in this case freedom will come from our collective responsibility to each other by following the safeguards and by getting ourselves and our whanau safely protected with the vaccine.”

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A Virus Doesn't Care. Get the Jab.

Posted on 01-11-2021 12:04 | By Sunchine

THINK! A virus does not. It instinctively invades your body cells to take them over and reproduce itself while feeding off you, maiming or potentially killing you. This particular virus is adept at evading your natural immune defences without the assistance to tell your immune system HOW to fight it; hence the information given in the vaccine. Increased rates of illness & intensive care WILL require financial restructuring & triage in order to cope with the massive increase in health care expenditures. IF this were biological warfare, exploited by foreign bad faith actors posing as social media "friends" to spread disinformation that persuades you to expose yourself by attending spreader "protest" events AND not take the "starter" vaccines to reduce your chances of needing hospital care, THEN you are playing into their hands of Self-Destruction. DON’T HELP jealous enemies destroy you, your family, your way of life.

Narcissistic morons!

Posted on 31-10-2021 18:39 | By Ben Dover

These people will be screaming like stuffed pigs for treatment when they catch covid, which, by the way is inevitable!

Have a look Peter

Posted on 31-10-2021 17:51 | By Accountable

Through your own office’s back door. The establishment you are in charge of should be thoroughly checked out, reorganised and deep cleansed for the safety of the patients that have the bad luck to visit, not only for Covid but for their general health welfare and wellbeing and there was no other reason than the lack of professional and caring management. This sort of management starts at the top so that responsibility lands clearly in your court.

A waste if time talking to the self entitled

Posted on 31-10-2021 17:00 | By Kancho

Just been to the local supermarket and a guy with a wooly beanie pushed passed me as I was scanning in. He didn’t wear a mask or scan in. He stalked around the shop passing every one wearing masks so not like he didn’t know. I briefly thought of asking him to show some respect but realized he doesn’t have any as he obviously feels self entitled . He we are to check out and a young woman processed his purchases as he probably was intimidating to her and it’s not her job to be abused. Also get him out asap. Guess its to much to expect anything for this group of morons

Totally Agree

Posted on 31-10-2021 16:31 | By Yadick

With CEO Pete Chandler. He has every right to be angry, upset and annoyed with these idiots.


Posted on 31-10-2021 15:04 | By Qalad

1000 idiots

typical health expert response

Posted on 31-10-2021 15:02 | By jacksprat

Its a real sign of the negative impact that this is having on society-its fantastic that people are speaking up against the ridiculous rules that are being forced upon good ,honest, professional working or non working NZ ’s .Mandating the vac is jumping the gun here. How come we didn’t have anyone care if you got the flu jab or not-yet this virus was/is killing approx 500 kiwis a year? Total scare mongering from health professionals and government that is dividing this country-the protests will get bigger and more frequent and thank goodness as you cant continue the current lock down of people without huge costs and the costs are far outweighing the event. If you want to stay in lock down and wear a mask-do so but the rest of us just want to live and get back to normal-there will be deaths and busy hospitals-that’s life.

Appalling Pete

Posted on 31-10-2021 13:24 | By an_alias

I am deeply appalled that its fine for someone in a position of medial CEO to happily say he endorses not treating someone because they are unvaxxed. Is this the type of person one would want in charge of any health department ?

Rights & Responsibilities

Posted on 31-10-2021 13:00 | By DaveTheCynic

I don’t see much collective responsibility in that crowd.


Posted on 31-10-2021 12:46 | By Slim Shady

It’s not as “reckless or irresponsible” as bringing in sweeping DHB reforms in the middle of a pandemic. It’s not as “deeply disturbing” as the behaviour of the Government with it’s divisive mandates, incompetence and oppressive Police State. I’m surprised Pete has the time to tweet given the shambolic state that Tauranga hospital is in. I bet they are safer in memorial park than they would be if they turned up at your hospital for any healthcare. You just stick to getting the beds staffed Pete. Leave these people to express themselves as they like, and I reckon they have more support than you do.

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