Is New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown lawful?

University of Otago Law Professor Andrew Geddis and Victoria University Law Professor Claudia Geiringer via the UK Constitutional Law Association website:  Is New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown lawful?

The New Zealand Government’s “go hard, go early” response to the COVID-19 pandemic has garnered widespread praise – both in New Zealand and internationally. On March 25, less than four weeks after New Zealand’s first COVID case was diagnosed, the country was put into a state of “Level 4 Lockdown”, reducing social and economic life to a bare minimum. Everyone was instructed to stay at home, except for limited “essential” purposes (in short, supermarket shopping, essential medical treatment, and brief localised exercise such as a walk or a run). All businesses were closed, except for those providing “essential” services. Physical proximity to those not in a person’s residential “bubble” was prohibited.

These measures undoubtedly have been effective, with the country now on a path to eliminate the virus. For that reason, it is perhaps not surprising that discussion of their legal status has been muted.

I’ve seen some questions raised over the last few weeks, for example:

Dr Dean Knight joins Kathryn to talk about the remarkable suit of legal powers the government has deployed during the coronavirus crisis. What are some of the rule-of-law implications?

Over the weekend – Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield used the Public Health Act to give police the power to arrest people who flout lockdown rules.

But University of Canterbury disaster law expert John Hopkins told Heather du Plessis-Allan that’s not what the act is for.

“We should welcome the fact that they introduced new laws at the weekend to make it more clear, but they’ve relied more on the Health Act, which is not really designed for the kind of lockdown that we’ve currently got.”

But he says that doesn’t mean it won’t be legally enforced.

“The courts would be very unlikely to take that given to the reality that we’re in. We’re under a state of emergency and the police powers are extensive under that legislation as well. They’re very broad.”

The second important thing that this new Health Act notice does is give these level four rules a much firmer legal footing. No one really has wanted to say it out loud for fear of undermining what needs to be a collective exercise, but it’s pretty apparent that the police actually couldn’t enforce many of the prohibitions we were being told were in place. And once that fact became common knowledge, via media stories like this one, there was a risk that general compliance with the level four lockdown requirements could suffer.

And so, this new notice is to be welcomed. It not only tells us with some greater clarity just what are “the rules”, it also provides a clear legal basis to enable the police to hold us to them. If they catch you launching a boat, or setting off for a 20km hike into the hills, or riding in a car with someone from outside of your bubble, or just loitering in the street because you are bored, they now have the lawful power to do something about it through arrest and charges.

Nathan Batts, a senior associate at Haigh Lyon, argues such restrictions on activity, along with the power to lock New Zealand into isolation and quarantine, may not be backed by legislative authority. And the police, he says, cannot enforce the will of ministers unless that will is expressed in law.

I don’t  remember seeing the National Opposition raising it but that could have been lost in the noise of Covid coverage.

A couple of legal lightweights took it to court, this was covered by media and also here Failures with habeas corpus writ against Ardern et al over lockdown ‘detention’.

The Geddis/Geiringer post addresses this:

Nevertheless, questions surrounding the legality of the lockdown received their first outing in the High Court this week, when Peters J dismissed an application by two litigants in person for habeas corpus (A v Ardern [2020] NZHC 796B v Ardern [2020] NZHC 814). Her Honour held in both cases that the conditions of the lockdown did not amount to “detention”, that the lockdown was in any event lawful, and that many of the issues raised by the applicant were not suitable for determination by way of habeas corpus.

These applications were doomed to fail. They were poorly argued, framed in large part as a personal attack against the Prime Minister and Director-General of Health. In A’s case, the applicant was already serving a sentence of home detention.

Both the judge and the lawyer representing the Crown said that a habeas corpus writ was the wrong approach and that it should have been done via a judicial review.

Nevertheless, we argue here that the formal legal status of the lockdown is far from secure. Given the significance of the threat to which the Government is responding, the New Zealand courts may well be reluctant to uphold a legal challenge. But the tenuous legal foundation of the lockdown regime represents a significant constitutional problem that needs to be addressed.

Unlike in the United Kingdom, the Government has, to date, located its lockdown powers entirely under the pre-existing legal regime relating to civil and public health emergencies.

Moving into the Level 4 Lockdown, the New Zealand Government issued an “epidemic notice” under the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006 and declared a state of national emergency under the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002. These two steps triggered a range of executive government powers. Most significantly for our purposes, they unlocked a set of coercive powers reposed in medical officers of health under s 70 of the Health Act 1956. In practice, the s 70 powers have been exercised by New Zealand’s chief public health officer, the Director-General of Health.

Although this seemed to be the primary legal basis for the lockdown restrictions at the time, official Government statements, as well as Police enforcement action, purported to impose far greater limits on civil liberties. New Zealanders were directed to stay home in their bubbles, to receive no visitors, and to venture out only for the limited purposes set out in the opening paragraph above.

In the main, the Police have preferred not to rely on a parallel coercive powers regime to be found in the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act. That regime has its own problems, which are not discussed here.

On April 3, the Director-General moved to address this discrepancy. He issued a new notice – this time under the Health Act, s 70(1)(f), which empowers a medical officer of health to require persons to be isolated or quarantined. On this basis, the Director-General ordered that all persons in New Zealand remain in their residences and only leave for the purpose of “essential personal movement” as defined in the order (“the s 70(1)(f) notice”).

Police operational guidelines confirmed that these twin Health Act notices provided the primary basis for legal enforcement of the Level 4 Lockdown restrictions.

I haven’t seen any sign of the Police abusing their powers. They seem to have been much easier on enforcement that in Australia, who have had a less restrictive lockdown.

It has been effective but has it been legal?

It is clear that the Level 4 Lockdown rules have been very successful in their intended aim of eliminating the virus from the country. Furthermore, the New Zealand public’s support for (and voluntary compliance with) their requirements has been very high. From an effectiveness and social-licence perspective, there is little to criticise in them. However, the legal status of the Level 4 Lockdown rules is far more tenuous.

A first and critical question concerns whether Cabinet has overstepped the mark in purporting to direct the country into lockdown. Throughout the crisis, decisions as to whether and when to go into lockdown, and exactly how civil liberties are to be restricted, have been presented as residing in Cabinet. But that is not so. As set out above (and as acknowledged internally within Government in a Cabinet paper that has just been released), the only relevant coercive powers lie with medical officers of health under s 70. This raises a question as to whether any of Cabinet’s statements (especially, those backed up by coercive Police action) amount to a purported suspending of the law without consent of Parliament contrary to the Bill of Rights 1688. It also raises the possibility that the Director-General might be accused of acting under dictation in the making of his various orders.

Secondly, there is a real question as to whether the s 70 notices are ultra vires. Section 70(1)(m) permits a medical officer of health, by way of public notice, to “require to be closed … all premises … of any stated kind or description”. It is by no means clear that permits the Director-General to close all premises, subject to an express exemption – as he did in the order.

The s 70(1)(f) notice is arguably even more vulnerable. An initial question is whether the Level 4 Lockdown rules actually are a form of “isolation” or “quarantine”, given the broad exceptions for essential workers and essential activities that attach. Even if they are, it is highly debatable whether the Director-General’s power to “require persons … to be isolated or quarantined” empowers an order isolating or quarantining all persons throughout the country rather than specifically identified individuals. It is a power exercisable by a single public health official, with no requirement to consult anyone else in the making of the decision.

It appears to give the Director general of health extraordinary powers.

To be clear, Peters J in A v Ardern specifically rejected the argument that the s 70(1)(f) order was ultra vires (albeit in a brief obiter paragraph). In context, that outcome was unsurprising. Nevertheless, we think the point deserved fuller consideration.

Perhaps it will get fuller consideration if taken to appeal, but the particular applicant involved could not be relied on to present cogent arguments.

A third set of questions concerns the consistency of these notices with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA). The effect of that Act is that the Health Act notices can only impose limits on a range of civil and political rights (including the freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement) if those limits are “demonstrably justified”. Combating COVID-19 clearly provides an exceptionally strong justification for limiting rights, and any court would be likely to accord the Government considerable latitude. Nevertheless, it can certainly be argued that some of the limits imposed by the notices go beyond what is necessary.

…We have identified above some specific deficiencies in New Zealand’s legal regime. Underlying these specific problems lie broader questions about where power should reside to limit civil liberties on such a significant scale. The instinct of the New Zealand’s government that at least some of these powers ought to reside with Cabinet is probably the correct one. But it finds no current basis in New Zealand law.

This post is written as New Zealand transitions from Level 4 Lockdown into Level 3, at which the country will see some (limited) loosening of restrictions on civil liberties but the essence of the lockdown regime will remain in place. The timing and details of the move to Level 3 have, again, been presented as a decision of Cabinet and will, again, be effected through further section 70 notices described as “orders”. Thus, the legal difficulties attending the Level 4 Lockdown have not, in our view, been resolved.

Although these legal deficiencies expose New Zealand’s COVID-19 response to a degree of on-going legal risk, A v Ardern and B v Ardern demonstrate how reluctant New Zealand courts may be to uphold a legal challenge.

But that was a very poor challenge which seemed more personal and political than based on sound legal reasoning.

Beyond the potential for judicial challenge, however, lie deeper rule of law considerations. The Level 4 (and upcoming Level 3) lockdowns impose the most extensive restrictions on New Zealanders’ lives seen for at least seventy years; perhaps ever. No matter how “necessary” these may be, we should expect such restrictions to have a clear, certain basis in law and be imposed through a transparent and accountable process.

It is to be hoped that, when it resumes next week, New Zealand’s Parliament will take the opportunity to put the lockdown regime on a more secure legislative footing.

Parliament in New Zealand resumes today, with some limitations.

National leader Simon Bridges was a lawyer and Crown prosecutor, perhaps this is something he could get his Opposition teeth into.

I have had a browse back through National press releases and it was raised by Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell: Government must release Crown Law advice but that’s all I can see over the past month.

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57 Comments

  1. Barbara McKenzie

     /  28th April 2020

    Presumably the measures, which include never before seen restrictions on movement and assembly, would only be lawful if they were warranted by the situation – both new evidence from abroad and the NZ experience make it clear that they aren’t. ‘It’s not the most evil that we’ve had … SAARS and MERS coronaviruses were much more severe, they killed, ah were set up to kill a lot more people.’ (Karen Petousis-Harris, Vaccinologist)
    ‘As we have said previously, this can be a very serious disease, particularly for elderly people and also for those with underlying health conditions. [… ].’ (Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health, Daily COVID-19 media conference – 11 April)

    ‘The emperor has no clothes’ Wolfgang Wodarg

    COVID-19: THE NZ EXPERIENCE

    When news broke of a potentially highly lethal virus on the loose in China, the New Zealand did not consider closing its borders.  Instead it waited until the UK government had actually downgraded the COVID threat on 19 March as no longer highly dangerous; on 23 March the NZ governent declared a ‘Level 3’ state of emergency, coming into effect immediately, to become ‘Level 4’ on 25 March.   At that point, there had been no deaths from coronavirus recorded in New Zealand.

    Since the state of emergency was declared, as at 24 April we had had 17 alleged COVID-19 deaths according to the government’s COVID-19 Daily Updates.  In the light of those deaths, and of further information from abroad, New Zealanders should be considering whether the draconian measures imposed were in fact appropriate.

    The 17 deaths compromised

    4 people in their 90s
    5 in their 80s
    6 in their 70s
    2 in their 60s

    The average age of the diseased then is roughly 80 years.  All have been described as having underlying health issues.  Eight of the deceased were from the high-security dementia wing of the Rosewood Care Home who were transferred to Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.  Two were from the hospital wing of that same care home, including the 60 year old.  At least one other ‘COVID death’ was resident in a different care home, St Margaret’s Rest Home.

    The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashleigh Bloomfield, has made it clear in the Press Briefings that deaths are attributed to COVID-19 where there is any doubt.  No consideration is taken whether, for example, the shock of being moved from the Rosewood Care Home and then being deprived of all visits from loved ones might have shortened the lives of those concerned.

    Others allegedly dead of COVID-19 were in contact with travellers from overseas. Assuming all 17 cases are actually due to COVID-17, they have been in contact with multiple caregivers, or been infected by travellers from overseas who have been in contact with at least hundreds of people on their flights.  To date, no caregivers have died, nor travellers, nor anyone under 60 or without an underlying condition.

    At the daily briefings, Jacinda Ardern and the Director-General of Health reiterate constantly that it is those in aged care homes who are at risk, see for example Jacinda Ardern at the Ministers’ Media Conference on 14 April.  This is consistent with reports from abroad, which indicate that children, for example have complete immunity.

    The virus is only lethal to those who are immune-compromised to a high degree – there are cases of centenarians recovering.  Thus the New Zealand experience alone suggests that this year’s virus is no different from those of other years, and much milder than some.

    ‘My wife and I are both medically trained doctors and have spent the past month trying to calm people down and warn them that a lockdown would be unnecessary and disastrous for NZ. People are surprised when I tell them there may not be a new disease, we simply have a new test. A test that went through no trials, has not been compared to a control or gold standard and is only presumed to detect a coronavirus. It is also certainly clear that there is no “killer infection” – health authorities are simply reclassifying deaths in already frail and elderly people’ (private email from GP, Christchurch).

    THE COSTS

    ‘[The lockdown measures] are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous […].  The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound.’ (Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, specialist in microbiology, emeritus professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.)

    The costs are of course immeasurable, from the grief and trauma caused to the elderly who are hospitalised and isolated against their will, to the general breakdown to the health system, to the lives damaged by loss of jobs and the damage to the economy as a whole.

    ‘The money squandered on saving us from the common cold, optimistically estimated at $1 billion a day, has been [in the first three weeks of lockdown]:

    – More than our entire health budget for the year
    – 42 times what we spend on cancer every year
    – Our entire education budget for 1.5 years.
    – Roughly 10,500km worth of median barriers (Auckland to Wellington 16 times)
    – 10 times the entire NZ Police’s budget (maintenance of law and order)
    – 525 times what was allocated as a boost by the government to the Suicide Prevention (remembering suicide claimed 668 lives)
    – Almost 15 brand new, modern hospitals’. (Alex Davis, ‘$21 billion: We Have Lost All Sense of Proportion With Covid-19’)

    Infect the Young and Protect Those at Risk

    Numerous eminent professors of virology, epidemiology, pulmonology etc have said that this is just another seasonal virus; that the best strategy is to allow the healthy to develop natural immunity and protect the vulnerable – i.e. do what we’ve always done.   They include Prof Alexander Kekulé, chair of Medical Microbiology and Virology of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg  (‘Infect the young and protect others at risk’), Dr Pietro Vernazza, Swiss specialist in infectious diseases and professor of health policy (‘If we close the schools, we will prevent the children from quickly becoming immune’, Interview in St. Galler Tagblatt, 22 March 2020),  and Dr Knut Wittkowski, who was for 20 years Head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University, who believes:

    ‘As with every respiratory disease we should protect the elderly and fragile, because when they get pneumonia, they have a high risk of dying of pneumonia. This is one of the key issues to keep in mind. On the other hand, children do very well with these diseases: they are evolutionarily designed to be exposed to all kinds of viruses in their lifetime, and they should keep going to school and infecting each other. That contributes to herd immunity, which means after about four weeks at the most, the elderly people could start joining their families because then the virus would have been extinguished.’

    BUT EVERYONE IS DOING IT

    Certainly most countries in the developed world have followed the same disastrous course, with a population whipped up by the media campaign into a frenzy of fear. Exceptions have been Sweden, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, who have achieved control over their epidemics without harsh lockdowns – and without the enormous damage to their economies, health systems, human lives or to their democracy.  Taiwan, right next to China where the epidemic started, has had no lockdowns, no closed businesses (and is not a member of WHO), and is relatively unaffected by COVID-19.

    WHAT ABOUT ITALY

    The example of high mortality in countries like Italy is not what it seems (see also Wuhan in Overview 2. below):

    – A key study from Italy found that 99% of those who have died had other illnesses and almost half had three or more co-morbidities.
    – Northern Italy is the most polluted region of Europe, with high rates of pneumonia every year.
    – Italy has the highest antibiotic resistance in Europe. In fact, data from the Italian authorities show that around 80% of the deceased were treated with antibiotics, indicating bacterial superinfections (the deaths would still be recorded as being due to coronavirus).

    THE BASIS FOR THE GOVERNMENT’S DECISION

    ‘You are locked in your house right now because of some buffoon at Imperial College’, Mark Windows

    The NZ government was influenced by the hysterical fear campaign conducted by the corporate media, in combination with alarmist projections from institutions such as Imperial College, London and the University of Otago Covid-19 Research Group.   One analysis of Imperial College projections concluded that they had exaggerated the risk by 131 times.  Imperial College has extensive form for unwarranted alarmism, including giving advice on foot and mouth disease that led to the unnecessary culling of six million healthy animals.  Otago University’s COVID-19 projections have likewise been criticised: economist Ian Harrison (who has worked for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements and specialises in risk modelling) demolished the fundamental research on which the NZ government relied for compelling the country into lock down.

    The government can also point to the World Health Organisation’s (rather slow) declaration of a pandemic on March 11, but the WHO has declared pandemics before without such drastic measures being imposed.

    THE RESEARCH

    COVID-19 lethality is now commonly estimated at below 0.2%, in the range of a bad flu, but not as bad as something like SAARS, which was 0.4-5%.

    The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford argues that the lethality of covid19 (IFR) is between 0.1% and 0.36% (i.e. in the range of a severe influenza). In people over 70 years of age with no serious preconditions, the mortality rate is expected to be less than 1%. For people over 80 years of age, the mortality rate is between 3% and 15%, depending on whether deaths so far were mainly with or from the disease. In contrast to influenza, child mortality is close to zero.

    Furthermore, numerous studies show that COVD-19 contagion is more widespread, and therefore less dangerous

    A Swiss website has pulled together data on the various aspects of the ‘COVID crisis’. I commend it to you. https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

    WILL THE GOVERNMENT WALK BACK?

    Now that it should become clearer that there has been a massive over-reaction, governments such as that in New Zealand seem to be reluctant to walk back from their disastrous course of action.  There are warnings that the world has changed for ever, or at least until a vaccine is available (even though no remotely safe vaccine for a coronavirus has ever been developed).  Plans for mass surveillance are under way, the British government is reported to be considering lockdown of everyone over 70 for over a year, ‘until a vaccine is developed’ (Michael Gove, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has neither confirmed nor denied this).

    ‘How will the government representatives and enablers respond when the dust settles?
    ‘They will hold onto the absurd. They will hide the harm of the lockdown (violence, economy, jobs, subservience training…). They will claim that they beat the coronavirus when it slows, and then claim that any resurgence would have been worse had they not intervened; all contrary to known science and the accumulating empirical data, of course.’ (Denis G. Rancourt, former Professor of Physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, ‘What Will Post-COVID Look Like on TV and In the History Books?’)

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th April 2020

      “People are surprised when I tell them there may not be a new disease, we simply have a new test.”
      Silly nonsense. Detailed lab tests have identified the nature and DNA of a new virus. Barbara is at the level of a bat crazy Trump, and if shes the prolific person on twitter , she is a nurse not a medical doctor and in no way qualified to give any sort of advanced medical opinion. This is more her level
      “Deciding what belongs: How psychotherapists in New Zealand attend to religion and/or spirituality in psychotherapy”

      Reply
      • Hunter Charles

         /  28th April 2020

        Duker, what you state is false. The presently available evidence does not support the role of a novel coronavirus as being the cause of the “Wuhan outbreak.”

        The presently available evidence fails to even prove the existence of a novel coronavirus according to Koch’s postulates for infectious disease nor Rivers’ modification of Koch’s postulates which virologists agree is essential to 1) prove the existence of a new virus and 2) prove that it is infectious.

        All parties should watch a breakdown of the science in the following presentations by Dr Andrew Kaufman, who holds a degree in molecular biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), worked for the CDC collecting information about AIDS cases, obtained his MD from the Medical University of South Carolina faculty and went on to become a forensic psychiatrist at the SUNY Medical University in Upstate, New York.

        Dr Kaufman’s presentation on the science behind the tests being promoted and how they were developed is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGGd7-vvd9Y
        In summary: because no virus has ever been purified, they are testing for endogenous (human) RNA being released from endogenous (human) cellular vesicles.

        Dr Kaufman’s presentation on the failure to purify Coronavirus for either SARS or the Wuhan Pneumonia can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvcEIarencM

        The science does not prove the existence of an infectious Coronavirus. There is no scientific evidence behind any of the draconian measures being forced upon peoples around the world. The Emperor has no clothes.

        Why are people dying? Because of the medical treatments that are being promoted to treat this ‘epidemic’ all of which openly acknowledged to be experimental and many of which are toxic in their effects and inappropriate early of mechanical ventilation which results in mortality in 17% of healthy people and 80+% of people with illness which is why it usually used only as a measure of last resort.

        Let’s get everyone back to work and end this false state of emergency.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th April 2020

          Nobel prize winners in Virolgy disa gree with you , why do you think they would know less than your uninformed ravings ?
          Thats a Nobel not one of mad Trumps ‘Nobles’
          “Scientists from The Doherty Institute were the first to successfully grow the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from a patient sample. According to Professor Doherty, a COVID-19 vaccine could be available within 12 to 18 months.
          https://theconversation.com/politics-with-michelle-grattan-nobel-laureate-professor-peter-doherty-on-the-coronavirus-crisis-and-the-timeline-for-a-vaccine-134795

          Reply
          • Hunter Charles

             /  29th April 2020

            Because I trust not in the words of men nor their authoritative titles, but whether their claims are matched by the evidence. In this case Dr Andrew Kaufmaun is quite right to show the massive gaps in the evidence.

            Those with closed minds that seek not the truth deserve all they get.

            Reply
        • Griff.

           /  28th April 2020

          Jesus the right wing cranks are out in force today.

          This guy .
          Andrew Kaufman, MD
          https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-kaufman-md-1300389
          Is a fickin Psychiatrist with some very alt fringe ideas about medicine.
          The right lap up the gibbering rubbish because it says MD .

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  28th April 2020

            You are the Stephen Barrett of this blog, Griff. A one eyed bigot who hasn’t
            had an original thought since learning the mechanics of adding 1+1.

            Reply
            • Griff.

               /  28th April 2020

              Cloudbuster, devining, magic water,colloidal silver….
              ROFL.
              Next you will try mainlineing detol and sticking a uv light up your arse……

            • Corky

               /  28th April 2020

              Case in point.

              Matthew Hopkins – the Witch Finder General. That would have been a great job for you, Griff. Ignorance and the belief of one’s infallibly…the only requirements for the job.

            • Corky

               /  28th April 2020

              ”Infallibility”

          • Hunter Charles

             /  29th April 2020

            Ad hominem attacks – weakness personified.

            Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  28th April 2020

    The world is topped up with hindsight Covid19 experts.

    Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th April 2020

    If it is lawful, it shouldn’t be.

    Firstly, the Level 4 lockdown included a lot of nonsense with no relevance to safety. Essential doesn’t make something safe and non-essential doesn’t make it unsafe. It should never be a criteria for more than immediate emergency intervention and certainly not for four weeks going on six.

    Second, after four weeks there is no excuse for not having proper parliamentary scrutiny of what amounts to draconian legislation by arbitrary fiat. That is simply intolerable.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th April 2020

      Shouldnt be ?
      Thats laughable …its not a legal view its what people say when they have a toenail fungus

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th April 2020

        God, you are a dickhead, Duker. How do you think law comes about? Because of what people think it should be. That’s what politics and political action is all about.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th April 2020

          No that’s how dictatorship works …..making things unlawful AFTER the event.
          All the actions taken have a legal basis, for a lawful purpose and for a time that is appropriate.
          Oh yes the other thing ….they WORKED

          Reply
  4. Duker

     /  28th April 2020

    Ahh Geddes again…he certainly does Olympic level concern trolling …but never puts his lance into the sand and specifically says this item isnt legal.
    of course hes just preferring to be a quasi journalist , probably all he can do if he hasnt practiced law in a long time – there is only one Geddes on the Roll and it isnt him.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  28th April 2020

      The only way this can be legal is for our courts to fail to do their job of protecting democracy, the rule of law and civil rights.

      When that becomes the status quo inevitably war follows.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  28th April 2020

        The courts won’t act & rule on it unilaterally. Someone will have to take a case to them & win.

        Why don’t you do it, Al, seeing it irritates you so much?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  28th April 2020

          Let’s see what Parliament manages to do today.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  28th April 2020

            Do you think Winston will strike, with an eye on the election?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  28th April 2020

              I will be surprised if he doesn’t outdo Simon. But he may play that either way at present while keeping his options open.

      • Pink David

         /  28th April 2020

        “The only way this can be legal is for our courts to fail to do their job of protecting democracy, the rule of law and civil rights.”

        Does not really matter. The vast majority of NZ’ers demanded for their to rights to be stripped away.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th April 2020

          Parliament is supreme in NZ , like that we copied in UK, not the courts.
          All the laws used were in existing legislation and supported unanimously by all parties in Parliament, thus representative democracy in action , not the courts

          Reply
  5. Duker

     /  28th April 2020

    “National leader Simon Bridges was a lawyer and Crown prosecutor, perhaps this is something he could get his Opposition teeth into.”

    Check back to parliament last days and Bridges press releases….he totally supported the governments move into level 4 lockdown for a month. PG you havent checked your background here…suggesting the impossible…as if a criminal law prosecutor would have the faintest idea about high level public law.

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  28th April 2020

    A true RIGHTIE give us the RIGHT goss. I agree. The present situation is a true socialists wet dream. It does not get any better for them. As the saying goes, you must make hay while the sun is shinning..And this lot are filling up the hay shed fast.

    https://www.nzcpr.com/new-zealands-democratic-vacuum/#more-31948

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  28th April 2020

      Quote:

      ”There are already calls for tax rates to be hiked up to 70 cents in the dollar, to force those who are “better-off” to pay for Jacinda Ardern’s lockdown. And it won’t be long before a capital gains tax, estate duties and other tax instruments everyone thought were long dead and buried are resurrected as well.”

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  28th April 2020

        Muriel Newman is just past it Actoid
        “Parliament should never have been closed down during this period of emergency rule. At times like this, when a democratic government starts acting like a dictatorship, the voice of the opposition becomes more important than ever.”

        Thats whats happened in Westminster Systems and even US congress and Senate … all gone into recess.
        How many others had even a committee in session chaired by the Opposition leader . UK and Australia certainly didnt with their conservative leaders

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  28th April 2020

          ”Muriel Newman is just a past it Actoid.”

          What has that to do with the price of fish? I own a Harley…is that germane to my comments that aren’t about motorcycles?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  28th April 2020

            Do you wear a Germane helmet when you’re riding …it?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  28th April 2020

              As a matter of fact, yes. WW2 vintage. A little uncomfortable..and not for long trips. But it has a ‘cool’ factor.

            • If that’s true, it is almost certainly illegal as it doesn’t meet NZ safety standards. Not to mention being in bad taste.

            • Corky

               /  28th April 2020

              What would you know? You don’t need a helmet to pull along a shopping trundler.

            • Gezza

               /  29th April 2020

              The “cool factor”

            • Corky

               /  29th April 2020

              I just can’t see it…It wouldn’t suit, Kitty.😮

            • Gezza

               /  29th April 2020

              Have you got da tats to go with da stahlhelm, Corks? 😳

            • Corky

               /  29th April 2020

              No, tats. Thankfully I never took a liking to them. If I want a billboard, I will buy one. I tell I lie, I do have one small insignificant home made tat. That said, I can admire some tats that come close to works of art.

          • Duker

             /  28th April 2020

            The voice of the opposition?
            Act and National strongly wanted the level 4 lockdown for 4 full weeks their speeches and PR confirm this….Muriel thinks she can make a comeback as ‘opposition’
            Of course they want to rewrite history NOW but not let anyone know about their flip flop

            Reply
            • They didn’t want it to go on indefinitely and to be as harsh as it is.

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              Yes they wanted to go immediately to level 4 for a month
              Are you making up fibs again

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              I caught you out over parliament resuming and showed it was planned a month before

            • No, you didn’t.

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              https://www.national.org.nz/leader_of_the_opposition_s_statement_on_state_of_national_emergency_and_move_to_alert_level
              We should be going to Level 4 lockdown this evening. We are putting in all the economic resources and investments required to defeat this common enemy…
              We are all in this together, united against COVID-19.

              We all have a month, dare I say it, at least a month, to self-isolate, to show social distance, to do or actually, probably more accurately, not to do what needs to be done.
              Hello reality….but then you aren’t the only one here with head in cuckoo land

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              I caught you out saying Ardern gave permission for Bridges to do 1000km round trip to and from Wellington. She never did that just said it’s up to him what he does…and not for her to say anything about what he chooses to do…..

          • No, I am going by what they said. Please don’t call me a liar, it’s very offensive, as I have said before.

            A month is not indefinitely, it’s a finite period, Your anxiety to prove someone a liar has tripped you up there.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              I’m going by what they said….exactly what they said …while your comments are those of a fantasist.
              So none of your actsplaining please and just accept it. Keep trying to whitewash it and I will come down very hard on you here…very hard

            • Blazer

               /  28th April 2020

              did you see it on the…news ..again?

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              Bridges said ‘at least a month’ meaning it could be more and he backed the Level 4 restrictions so you can’t say not as harsh . Quite clearly you are back telling lies again

            • Duker

               /  28th April 2020

              Simon Bridges exact words
              “I also want to thank all New Zealanders for following instructions as we head into lockdown tonight.

              The Prime Minister has put some of this very well. I’m confident we can show our best nature as Kiwis, following the rules and showing small acts of kindness, through to those of us of faith, praying for our communities and our nation at this tough time.

              He waka eke noa – the canoe which we are all in without exception. We are all in this together.”
              HE WAKA EKE NOA. Said Simon
              The canoe we are in without exception!
              That was a month ago, now he’s playing a duplicitous game…

      • duperez

         /  28th April 2020

        If you like I can get someone to post with me saying, “Tax rates should be hiked up 75 cents in the dollar.” Then you could legitimately say, “There are already calls for tax rates to be hiked up to 75 cents in the dollar.” If I get a third person to do the same you could say there were ‘numerous’ calls.

        If I post the same on The Standard David Farrar could even pick it up and say “Labour calls for tax rates to be hiked up to 75 cents in the dollar.”

        Reply
  7. Duker

     /  28th April 2020

    PG says “It appears to give the Director general of health extraordinary powers.”

    Except it only does that if you ignore the text of the legislation

    Health Act S70 (1)
    For the purpose of preventing the outbreak or spread of any infectious disease, the medical officer of health may from time to time, if authorised to do so by the Minister or if a state of emergency has been declared under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 or while an epidemic notice is in force,—

    See the qualifications :
    If Authorised by the Minister ( of Health)
    Or an Epidemic Notice ( which is issued by the PM)
    or State of Emergency has been declared ( by the Minister of Civil Defence)

    This is how NZ legislation works , executive decisions on policy is made by politicians while operational details are left to Senior Civil Servants and the format of legal instruments is done by Crown Law.

    Reply

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