A ban on unvaccinated children from childcare centres should be investigated, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

In Australia the Federal Government wants state and territory authorities to ban unvaccinated children from early childhood centres.

Some states already ban unvaccinated children and Australian Prime Minister has urged premiers and chief ministers to take a firm stance on the issue.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman this morning said the Government had no intention of following Australia's lead.


"We have very high vaccination rates - they are approaching 95 per cent - and in the end there is always going to be a certain proportion of people who are just going to strongly resist that. I think it is actually really important that all New Zealand kids get access to early childhood education."

Coleman said there were communities like Gloriavale on the South Island's West Coast where vaccination rates were low, but overall rates were very high.

"Vaccination is in the child's best interest and they should be doing it. Scientific evidence is strongly in favour of vaccination [but an ECE ban] would be detrimental to kids' long-term outcomes."

Labour leader Andrew Little said a ban was "well worth looking at".

"We appear to have higher vaccination rates than Australia so whether the same risks apply here than in Australia - it's not quite clear. That's what I say, let's have a look at it."

When enrolling children at ECE centres New Zealand parents show immunisation certificates, but children cannot be banned if they have not been immunised.

The Government and the Ministry of Health have goals to increase immunisation rates to 95 percent for 8-month-olds and 2-year-olds.

From 2009/10 to 2015/16, the immunisation rate for 8-month-olds has risen from 80 per cent to 93 per cent - the same increase as for 2-year-olds.

In 2012 the Government considered introducing compulsory immunisation for children of beneficiaries, although beneficiaries would have been able to opt out of immunisation for conscientious reasons under the proposal.

The plans were scrapped after the Ministry of Health said it could actually lower immunisation rates. Other health-related social obligations went ahead, including requiring beneficiary parents to enrol their children with a general practitioner.

Australia's "no jab, no pay" policy requires parents to have their children immunised to receive certain benefit payments.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson this month described that policy as a "dictatorship" and said parents should do their own research into vaccinations. Her comments were criticised as irresponsible by health groups.