Director general of Health Ashely Bloomfield is pushing back on any suggestions he was lobbied by cricket bosses to ensure players get preferential access to vaccines.
"I didn't make any promises," he told media this morning.
He said he had been invited to the Black Caps vs Australia match on Sunday by New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White.
Bloomfield said he was also invited to meet some of the players after the game, where they talked about "a range of things".
Vaccine prioritisation of players, he said, was "just was one of the things that came up in conversation".
He told them that he "couldn't make any promises or decisions" when it comes to this issue.
"What I said was: 'Okay, thank you for raising it' but obviously, I didn't make any promises."
He said he couldn't remember who exactly raised the issue of vaccines with him.
"It just was one of the things that came up in conversation.
"I did not go to the cricket to talk about vaccines. I went to watch the cricket."
Bloomfield pointed out that he gets regular email, letters and phone calls from various groups wanting "clarity" around the vaccine – "I am very accessible".
AAP reported Bloomfield had been lobbied by Cricket NZ to put players at the front of the vaccine queue.
This would mean they would be able to go overseas and compete without having to fear contracting Covid-19.
"Dr Bloomfield undertook to take the matter of players potentially being vaccinated prior to travel for consideration as part of planning for the Covid-19 vaccine rollout," a Ministry of Health spokesperson told AAP.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he could imagine that a number of sports teams would have been lobbying to get ahead of the queue.
But it would have no bearing on the Government's vaccine rollout, he said.
"Lobbying has not played a role in who is sitting in each group within the sequencing framework."