The co-producer of a controversial anti-vaccine documentary who was banned from Australia because she might be a risk to the community is touring New Zealand.

Polly Tommey arrived on Sunday and began her tour of the country in Auckland before heading south.

She has been talking to and filming the stories of families who believe their children have been injured by vaccines and attending screenings of the film.

Since arriving she has posted videos on Facebook explaining she had been banned from Australia for three years after entering the country to tour the movie.


Tommey spoke of her Australia ban in two separate Facebook videos after arriving in New Zealand with the rest of the Vaxxed team.

She claimed that as she was leaving the country her phone had been confiscated by Immigration officials who detained her for 40 minutes and took photographs of her emails. She has been told she would not be welcome back for three years.

A segment of a document from Australian's immigration department posted on Facebook said officials considered she might be a risk to "the health, safety or good order of the Australian community".

Speaking to the Herald today, Tommey said she would be appealing the Australian ban.

"I'm just a mother. They say the film, Vaxxed, is dangerous and anti-vaccine. They say I'm a danger but I'm travelling with a doctor and a scientist. The only thing Australia has done is make more people want to watch the film.

"I've got nothing to hide. The main thing is, I don't understand why we aren't just having a discussion about it."

She said the film was not anti-vaccine but was about a whistle-blower.

Tommey is in the country with Suzanne Humphries, an American author, doctor and nephrologist who is also prominent in the anti-vaccine movement.

The safety of vaccines is questioned in controversial documentary Vaxxed. Photo/File
The safety of vaccines is questioned in controversial documentary Vaxxed. Photo/File

On Wednesday the group filmed interviews at the Historic Village in Tauranga with families who believed their children had been injured by vaccines before Humphries gave her "herd immunity" seminar.

New Zealand group Warnings About Vaccine Expectations (Waves) explained on their Facebook page that the tour would be "archiving for NZ history, the long term health outcomes of our vaccination schedule".

Already dozens of videos of New Zealanders telling their story have been posted on the Facebook page We Are Vaxxed.

Tommey told the Herald she had received a warm welcome in New Zealand and had already spoken to about 100 families who believed their children had been injured by vaccines or have chosen not to vaccinate.

"All these families [with vaccine-injured children] are pro-vaccine and were just doing what their doctors told them," she said.

She said all the New Zealanders she had met so far were open to discussing the issue.

Today Tommey will visit Te Awamutu, Taupo and Ohakune speaking to and filming families' stories.

From there they will head to Palmerston North before arriving in Wellington on Saturday.

In Wellington there will be two screenings followed by a question and answer session with Tommey and Humphries, a seminar by Humphries and family interviews.

Tommey has been on tour with the film for 18 months.

"It's the same story every where we go just with different accents."

The film has sparked furious debate around the world with many health experts claiming it is short on scientific evidence.

Earlier this year New Zealand doctor Lance O'Sullivan hit the headlines after disrupting a viewing of the film in Kaitaia, telling the audience their mere presence "will cause babies to die".

He pleaded with other health professionals to leave the film viewing organised by WavesNZ.

"There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows immunisation causes autism," he said.

"Also, serious infections that we know should be non-existent, or at least very rare, in our communities are alive and well because parents are not immunising their children."

O'Sullivan said immunisation worked at a population level thanks to herd immunity, because when the vast majority of the population were immune, a disease struggled to find new hosts to infect.

Co-director of the film Andrew Wakefield's 1998 research in The Lancet had been described by Dr Dennis K Flaherty, of the University of Charleston, as "the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years".

Immigration New Zealand told the Herald Tommey arrived in New Zealand on a valid visa on August 6. The department said for legal and privacy reasons it could make no further comment.