Ummmm, I hate to admit it, but Simon Bridges & David Seymour are right about this…

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Ummmm, I hate to admit it, but Simon Bridges & David Seymour are right about this…

Covid 19 coronavirus: Solicitor-General summonsed to reveal legal basis for lockdown

The Solicitor-General has been summonsed by Parliament and asked to reveal the advice on the legality of the lockdown.

Director general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, and police chief Andrew Coster have also been summonsed by the Epidemic Response Committee.

Chairman of the committee and Opposition leader Simon Bridges said the move was unprecedented and Parliament had never summonsed the Solicitor-General before.

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“The people of New Zealand have given up their freedoms for this lockdown. We all deserve to know what the legal basis was for that,” Bridges said.

“New Zealanders should be proud of the efforts they’ve made during this lockdown but they also deserve to know whether the lockdown was legal.”

Bridges said National had been asking for the legal advice for the past five weeks after “serious concerns” were raised by academics, lawyers and the Law Society.

All legal advice on the legality of lockdown and ongoing restrictions has been sought.

ACT leader David Seymour said there was “overwhelming” public interest in releasing the advice.

“The people deserve to know on what basis they have had their civil liberties restricted. The advice is particularly relevant for business owners who have been shut down by the Police and citizens who have been turned away at checkpoints or arrested.”

…folks, this isn’t geek boy political point scoring, this actually matters.

We kinda do need on the record the legal basis for this vast amputation of our civil liberties, now don’t get me wrong – I agreed with the need for a Police State during this lockdown, I didn’t like it, and I resented it, B-U-T we all get that we had to go into quarantine to protect ourselves from an out of control novel virus. When I say ‘we all get’ I’m talking about anyone with half a brain, conspiracy theorists who believe this is all a UN funded one world government plot to take over the planet using 5G can all play unimmunized in a new age kindergarten that doesn’t do vaccinations for all I care.

So we do need the legal basis for this to officially be on the record, it matters, it’s important…

The legal basis of the lockdown has been a point of contention at the committee.

Attorney-General David Parker, a Labour MP who acts as chief law officer of the Crown, appeared before the committee on April 16 and said he was confident the Government followed the law.

Parker said the law was “abundantly clear” that governments “can for reasons of public health restrict people’s liberties”.

But the advice wouldn’t be released because of legal privilege, he said.

…I have an enormous amount of respect for David Parker, he is one of the brains of Labour and if he says it’s all sweet, then it is!

B-U-T you know, just for the record, again, we should probably have the advice released so we all know eh.

ESPECIALLY because, well, because of this…

Leaked emails from Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement to district commanders three days after lockdown revealed Crown Law opinion warned police had little or no power to enforce the lockdown.

…wait, what?

The cops didn’t believe they had the powers Parliament were claiming???

Someone tell me that we aren’t not handing the advice over because someone has screwed up the paper work right?

Remind me what happened next…

Two weeks later, Bloomfield used the outdated Health Act to issue specific regulations.

…oh shit.

So we fell back on the ancient pandemic rules from the bygone era to get this across the line?

Doesn’t that make anyone else nervous?

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25 COMMENTS

  1. People should remember this the next time someone tries to argue that Simon Bridges is not doing essential work.

    • I’v certainly never argued Bridges isn’t doing essential work. Isn’t it so annoying when internet trolls accuse politicians of being non-essential though?

  2. Wasn’t a state of emergency declared, so I would have thought the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 would have been used as part of the process? Could be wrong

  3. Chapter 43 Emergency powers and Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006.

    And while we are at it lets reveal the legalities should any NZ govt decide to declare or support any foreign war. Or defend the country by way of declaration of war any attack by a foreign power on our borders.

  4. Ha!
    “Overwhelming public interest”.
    Yeah right!
    When Seymour wants to know something that obviously counts as “overwhelming public interest”.
    Since when did the political right care about public interest and legality?
    Since when it means they have to take a share of the losses.
    If they were in power would they have given two f….s about the legality of it?
    No, they wouldn’t.
    They didn’t care about the illegality of Nicky Hager’s home invasion, for a start.
    Hypocritical cretins!

    • Not to mention Stevenson and the Dot Com fiasco.
      I hope Bullshit English and TraitorKey were well paid for their efforts.

      • …’ I hope Bullshit English and TraitorKey were well paid for their efforts’…

        ———————–

        Don’t worry , they were both paid more than their share of 30 pieces of silver, – over and over again. And still are.

  5. It needed to be done, Level 4 Lockdown. Early and total shutdown. Legal? Don’t care. Local Iwi Checkpoints needed to be done. Legal? Again, don’t care. We should be thanking our Govt. and Checkpoint volunteers for saving our butts. Nobody else would have lifted a finger for all us numbskulls. Is this the National party’s way of saying thanks? Scum.

  6. I concur with Bruce Moose and with GreenBus.
    It would not be surprising if legislation to cover this exact situation was not in place. Though as Bruce points out I would imagine the state of emergency would cover it. If not the state of emergency legislation obviously needs to be changed so that it does cover such a threat.
    That’s not to say it is wrong to check that the laws are adequate and only by examining the legislation used will it be possible to know. But it might have been reasonable to leave that to a retrospective analysis than to make a big deal of it in the middle of the crisis when it could inspire widespread violations of the programme which could sabotage it and render all the sacrifices everyone has been making .
    D J S

    • Hear hear.
      And the timing re: Bridge’s LACK of support figures, makes this look utterly political. i.e. trying to save his and Natz a#$es and to heck with any consequences to NZ. How sad but sadly or so predictable.
      I’d have thought Bridges would have learnt from his last failed attempt at the above.
      As for Seymour, he’s so irrelevant (only there due to political fiddle by TraitorKey and idiot Goldsmith) and no big push by the prostitute media to make him so, will change that. Most of his increase in ‘support’ will be at the expense of Natz, so its probably a good thing.
      Plus as Martyn says the ‘talent pool’ is basically non-existent and the citizens of NZ will thus get a ‘look behind the curtain’ to see NACT are nothing but ‘for hire’ prostitutes for wealthy interest and to heck with the effects it has on the majority of Kiwis.

    • Yes and your not alone. Radio NZ published that Law expert Progessor Claudia Geiringer stated ” I personally think it’s quite improper of the Epidemic response committee to try to require that legal advice given to the government be disclosed. Its also very short sighted of Simon Bridges because he seems to have momentarily forgotten that he might find himself in government one day.”

      The issue again is about Bridges short sightedness. His one goal is power and it appears at any cost. Disclosure of information and in particular personal information runs rife in his caucus.

  7. Good post Martyn,

    and to the knee-jerk National and ACT haters who commented above, it is the job of the opposition to ask awkward questions of the government. In my view only Seymour has been doing this well.

    Moving forward from the current level 3 status I have more than a few concerns:

    Under questioning in Parliament yesterday the Minister of Health was unable to set out the criteria that the government is applying in it’s decision making regarding the move to Level 2. This is looking a lot like they’re making it up as they go along.

    There is a groundswell of people running out of patience with the details of the lock down rules: It doesn’t take much intelligent scrutiny to see that they’re illogical in many respects (for example, I can go to Countdown but not to my local butcher or fishmonger. I can go stand-up boarding but not windsurfing.) So the government is running out of rope fast, although I doubt they’re aware of that, being as they are stuck in a bubble of their own making.

    It seems like this government has been emboldened by the way New Zealanders meekly rolled over in the face of the lock down imposition: They’re now talking about bypassing the RMA and local government entirely in their desire to kick off make-work projects. At this point, regardless of whether you’re left or right, there is an urgent need to rebel, because we’re facing a new era of Think Big and white elephant projects.

    • ” At this point, regardless of whether you’re left or right,there is a urgent need to rebel, because we’re facing a new era of Think Big a d white elephant projects.”

      And you have the audacity to call other opinions knee jerk.

      Calm the hell down and thank your lucky stars you are alive. You’ve never experienced anything like this in your lifetime, why? Because we’ve never had Covid before.
      The one thing we can agree upon is that people are running out of patience. Sadly we now live in a society of the wanting things ” now”. Business advertisers this way.
      This government has been exceptional in managing this crisis. I compare it to the Christchurch Earthquake recovery, where poor governance meant we are still having to deal with those people still fighting for payouts. Their democratic rights were trodden on. We do not want a repeat of that type of governance, ever!
      Lives matter.

    • While it is important to check the legality of any loss of civil rights by any government , it strikes me that any government that has ever changing yet ongoing information as it comes to hand does have an obligation to act in the best interest of its citizens, which I believe the lock-down has achieved.

      And while this is not the same as World War Two , many have rightly made the comparison between the two situations, – and so as an analogy , – where would we have been right now if Neville Chamberlain had remained in power with his appeasement policy of ‘Peace in this age’ instead of the dogged and determined Sir Winston Churchill ?

      Europe would have been lost. We are a nation of petty bleater’s in many respects in comparison.

      Sometimes a government has to step in and sadly , – that has massive knock on effects on the economic and social well being of the very people they are trying to protect. Do the checking by all means, but lets not forget the very real reasons why these extreme measures were taken in the first place.

  8. You forget one thing Andrew. Even if there was no lawful authority for the lock-down it certainly seems to have worked. Look at what’s resulted in both Britain and the USA where the lock-downs in those countries came in very late – lots of infections and deaths, whereas here in NZ while the virus has not been eliminated and there have been 21 deaths, which is dreadfully sad, the numbers of infections have reduced to a point where we were able to reduce down into Level 3 after only four weeks (Britain is still in lock-down after 7 weeks) and we can probably move into Level 2 sooner rather than later too. That’s got to be good news doesn’t it, although I guess the scary thing is the parallels which have now been drawn with the Spanish flu epidemic where the relaxing of the social contact rules back then brought about a second wave attack of the flu which caused the tens of millions of deaths around the world – not the first wave. With COVID-19 the relaxing of the rules in Europe has generated the fear that close contacts between people may trigger a second wave attack of the corona virus resulting in a larger number of infections and deaths than is already the case.

    Back to the legal challenge over the authority for the lock-down, even if the legal challenge is successful what is the remedy?

    • youngsuffrajet in no way am I re-litigating the legality of the lock down. Something had to be done and they did it. Not perfectly maybe, but they acted. Possibly they overdid it because Aussie has similar infection and fatality rates per capita but didn’t dive into level 4 like we did. But that’s history.
      It’s also foolish to draw comparisons between NZ, the UK and USA because their scenarios are so different. The US has a population of 350 million with vast apartment dwelling conurbations and the UK has one of the highest population densities on earth. The US also has a federal system of government and each state governor has more say in the running of lock downs in his state than anyone in DC.

      No, my concern is what happens next: How the government handles the recovery. My concern is that, emboldened by NZ meekly accepting the lock down rules, they run amok with our civil liberties and flout all the check and balances we have put in place to stop another Muldoon with lipstick.

  9. The lock down was illegal, but New Zealand wanted it, and the government consented to us and we agreed. . We shut the border not Madam J! But now, what was to materialize in reality has not come to fruition, thank God. We need to consider the legality going forward. And we need to question the validity of the testing. Do asymptomatic tests generate false positive results? And if the answer is yes, it is legal to quratine a person based on that test and compel that person to be separated from their own family?

  10. “Recent speculation that the Government’s legal advice had thrown doubt on the police enforcement powers under Level 4 is wrong. That speculation is based on draft views provided to agencies for feedback. That was not the considered advice of Crown Law, which was that there was no gap in enforcement powers.” (Scoop. Covid-19 Response: New Legal Framework As Move To Alert Level 2 Considered)

  11. I never supported the lockdown because of the deaths that will occur as a consequence of it.
    However as the PM, Adern had the right to make this happen as long as she worked within the law. If she didnt, there should be significant consequences.
    However what concerns me the most here is more cover ups from the “most transparent government ever”. What a joke.
    If there is nothing to hide, publish the information.

  12. Actually and Oh Fuck !
    How about this for an idea?
    A global ban on all staffed/ piloted/ manned/womened space flight? Effectively immediately. There ya go bridges and the twerk? Get your laughing gear around that one matey bros?
    Now, call me fruity if you must, but I personally believe ( therefore I don’t care if I’m right or wrong.) that the c-19 was built. It was ‘built’ and it was ‘distributed’ as a means of learning.
    Therefore, when I read this, I get jumpy. Especially since #A trump seems invulnerable. #B He thinks that any loss of human life is acceptable in order to re open America for business.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/24/donald-trump-bank-of-china-debt-report
    The Guardian.
    “Nasa picks Bezos’s Blue Origin and Musk’s SpaceX to build new lunar landers”
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/apr/30/nasa-moon-landing-bezos-musk-blue-origin-spacex#img-1
    Now, add that to this…?
    Mark Frauenfelder of Boingboing.
    “It’s almost impossible to understand how rich Jeff Bezos is. This mind-blowing visualisation not only helped me [grok] his immense wealth, it also made it clearer than ever that the country [USA] is owned by a tiny elite.”
    400 ‘people’ have 2.9 TRILLION dollars.
    2.9 Trillion…
    https://boingboing.net/2020/04/29/this-visualization-of-the-ultr.html
    Now add the above to the fear of a constructed virus that’s so virulent, potent and crafty that it’ll kill us where we stand but will, by design, leave every other living thing on earth and on the moon in a permanent state of huge relief.
    If we’re to be sure, we must not allow any fucker off-planet once, preferably before, moon base alpha’s are built.
    Moonbase Alpha.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonbase_Alpha

    Is funny… while we worry about our piddling little laws to see which colonial mouse gets to roar the loudest, those scunthorpes above are up to terrible things, I’m sure. And lets not forget… 400 people have 2.9 trillion dollars US.
    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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