It is an Act of Parliament - HPCA Act - that defines Vocationally Registered GPs as Specialists. The Medical Council adheres to the Act - the Ministry appears not to.
The Ministry of Health (including Dr Ashley Bloomfield), needs to understand that the MCNZ recognises Vocational Registration of GPs as the same specialist status as his Vocational Registration in Public Health Medicine....see
https://www.mcnz.org.nz/registration/scopes-of-practice/vocational-and-provisional-vocational/types-of-vocational-scope/general-practice/ [7 April 2019]
In fact, until this "just a GP" for Vocational General Practice attitude is removed, General Practice will continue to be an unattractive option for medical graduates and New Zealand will continue to have an inefficient and costly health service because THEY (MoH and previous and current Ministers of Health) undervalue the pivotal and proven importance of a well resourced General Practice workforce with specialist recognition and rights. This topic is an example of where the "specialist" GP is the most appropriate specialist rather than either a hospital specialist or a narrow field partialist.
New Zealand Doctor