Wow – how on earth did Government screw up the Level 2 Police powers law so badly?


What on earth just happened?

Coronavirus: Government tweaks Covid-19 level 2 law after marae controversy

The Government has backed down on some “extraordinary powers” in a Covid Level 2 law, including switching a two-year limit on the enforcement law to a shorter three-month limit.

It also tweaked references to police being able to enter marae without a warrant, and removed a requirement that only police operate roadblocks — a matter of controversy after community-led roadblocks were set up around the country during lockdown.

The law is required for the Government to enforce Covid-19 Alert Level 2 rules, such as social distancing and restriction on gatherings. The law would give police powers to enter a home without a warrant.

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This Level 2 law being rammed through under urgency and with no select committee process whatsoever was supposed to be a response to the messy manner in which the original Lockdown 4 notice was implemented.

It looks very clearly now that the Lockdown 4 powers were ill fitting legislation that didn’t provide the scale required, that’s why the second public health notice was required.

With that recent history you would have thought that the Government would ensure all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed for this new piece of law for Level 2.

You would have thought.

The danger we are in now is sheer fatigue with MPs and public servants exhausted and making stupid errors, because this law provides some extraordinary powers and over reaches of Police power that should have been sorted before the law was written.

This matters because as we just saw today, the NZ Police were caught secretly trialling mass surveillance face recognition powers with no sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss.

We are giving Police more vast powers when they can’t be trusted with their existing vast powers.

We are currently in a medically induced Police State, and we are in that medically induced Police State with the compliance and agreement of most Kiwis because we all universally get that the rights of the individual sometimes need impeding in extraordinary circumstances such as a pandemic.

There is an enormous good will here and the Government are bizarrely squandering it with self inflicted mutilations like this!

Allowing warrantless searches of our homes is an extraordinary power.

We all understand the need for Police to be able to enter a dwelling if they believe quarantine is being breached, but the intrusiveness of these powers goes well beyond what are currently required with no check or balance.

The Government are clearly rattled and have removed Marae from being specified and have put in a clause whereby a Marae’s committee must be contacted before a search, (but that’s still a warrantless search), and they’ve also dropped the 2 year sunset clause to a much more preferable 3 months.

Good will could still be built here if it is acknowledged that such extraordinary powers could only be used to ensure quarantine and that nothing else discovered during a warrantless search would be admissible evidence for anything else.

The trouble is this was supposed to be the clean up from the original legal mess.

Dumb, really dumb but forgivable given how tired and exhausted everyone is. That’s why law goes through select committee processes so it can be challenged from all sides and allows for better law as the outcome.

Ramming stuff through allows unforeseen outcomes and we are seeing Police try it on all over the place at the moment with laws passed for one purpose being exploited for other agendas.

The problem is that Jacinda & Grant can’t do everything and their Cabinet really needs to pick up the slack here because this cock up was totally preventable.

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  1. Why were Marae even an issue? Why name Maori Marae specifically and not include pakeha churches, jewish synagogues, Muslim Mosques ect … as well in the bill.
    Its clearly institutionalised racism.

    Who are these fictitious ghost iwi, representatives or leaders that were consulted? Which Marae were included in these discussions?

    Its targeted and racist.

  2. ‘The Safety of the People Shall Be the Highest Law’
    …was pretty popular on this website…

    • ‘The Safety of the People Shall Be the Highest Law’ …was pretty popular on this website…
      It was also one of the most popular slogans among the Italian fascist followers of Benito Mussolini who was a great admirer of Cicero.
      But I suspect have less attraction among ordinary New Zealanders than it does on “The Daily Blog”

  3. Your last line covers it. Apart from Jacinda & Grant, the Labour party doesn’t have a lot of capability in the team.

  4. Yes they have made cock ups and screw ups, when they cause destruction like National have, then there will need to be a change and no, not back to National.

    • time to give the smaller political opponents a face in parliament. this is not the United States where there is a duopoly on all politics, here it starts to look that way with all the political party that oppose the current politics are just voted of the radar. just asking for a 5 percent threshold is stealing the people from having their voices heard. under 5 percent of 5 million is 249,999 people that are not taken serious and because there is not a 5 percent they are told to come back when they grow some (political) balls.

  5. labour are finished . they’re attacking the whole country – working people , their businesses , civil rights and using police to do it –

    i hope they’ll have enough sense to look the other away .

    • So Hemi I take it your Ok and all your Whanau are OK. Good eh.

      The virus is what is doing the attacking and so far my Whanau are all right too.
      To my friends and me that’s what it is all about
      We are the lucky ones

  6. This was not a cock up. Just that it got called out and the government has been shamed into changing it. No different than the policing expansion powers bought in by the previous bunch.

  7. This is the problem when you leave the children in charge. Look Martyn I know you have contempt for business but the reality is these are literally the smartest people in the room. We need to allow them to drive our thinking and the NZ policy response. Tomorrow the budget will reveal a huge hole. Thats time up for the left. No more money, no more spending. Done. Its time for real world factual economics, not pie in the sky extreme leftism.

    • The RBNZ just created another $27 Billion from thin air for government & banks to play with.

      That will fix EVERYTHING! (my tongue just went through my actual cheek)

  8. Scary police state stuff, looks like these guys want to be totalitarians. I hope they don’t want this, but they sure look like that to many people.

    • It really doesn’t matter if that is the intention.
      The problem is that old saying “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
      The longer Labour and the police have these powers, the more dangerous things become.

  9. Very little will change. It is we who decide whether police will be invited or allowed onto our land, into our homes and onto our marae. The local police throughout the motu know that even if the government in Wellington does not.

  10. Utterly and completely disillusioned with this Labour led government now. This draconian bill turns everything Adern said about teamwork into hypocritical bullshit.

  11. So many people are going to be put before the courts due to this, absolutely crazy.

    Really only being left with the Act Party to vote for. Might have to hold my nose while I do it, but it’s seriously an option.

    • I doubt that many if any of us will end up in court. Common sense will prevail.
      If you are worried about the institution of a police state put a large sign on your front gate designating your property as a marae.
      You can use your imagination in naming your marae after your favorite bird (“Tui Marae”) tree (“Kahikatea Marae”) apostle (“Matiu Marae”), political allegiance (“Rangatiratanga Marae”), your nan (“Irihapeti Marae”) or anything else that takes your fancy.
      When your sign goes up everyone will get the message that you don’t wish to be subject to the arbitrary powers of the state (marae are exempt from police entry and search without warrant).
      Kia kaha

  12. “Wow – how on earth did Government screw up the Level 2 Police powers law so badly?”

    Quite simply: Lack of competence

    Outside of Jacinda who is a more than competent speaker and Grant who is a so-so minister of finance, there is little ability within the cabinet.

    Pop quiz: Name an infrastructure project completed by this government

  13. For those on the right with short memories, in 2011 Key and National rushed through law to allow secret filming on private property by police.
    20 September 2011.
    This is not new.

  14. +1 Agree with Martyns post.

    It is disgusting how NZ civil liberties are being eroded, while everybody in COL is asleep at the wheel or even worse drunkenly driving, in charge of a vehicle.

    Would it have been that hard, to put forward that police can only enter without a warrant if there is clear videoed evidence of a more than 100 people gathering, aka visible party that they record evidence on, and then also have to write copious paper reasons why they need to go in, without a warrant that goes straight to the privacy commission and judges to review if police did the right thing, with heads rolling if they didn’t.

    And really do they even need that, I believe they can get a warrant very quickly if they need to if there is people gathering!

    Sad COL with Greens involved are giving away this type of disgusting privacy abuse in this county.

    So if Natz get back in, they can pop in and do a search of Jacinda, if they feel the need.

    And if the police can enter, what is to stop them also planting evidence etc, we have seen it before aka Arthur Alan Thomas and the Dot Com situation where police entered for political reasons and it was not even a serious crime to offend against copywriter in NZ and secondary copyright infringement in law doesn’t even exist here… and

    In the US in 2014, it is not a crime to even operate a file sharing site…,_Inc.

    Do we want to go down that rabbit hole of being the world’s bitch and helping human rights be destroyed around the world?

    In the 1980’s our government put it’s foot down against the US for nuclear free, we also managed to tell the Israelis to piss off for stealing our passports, now it seems that NZ bends over for anybody, gives away its passports like lollies to criminals operating here that we can’t seem to deport, and illegally searches decent people tying to help our country be a better place.

    Nicky Hager wins ‘landmark’ case against police over search of home

    I guess now the police can enter Nicky Hager’s home and others. and just use the Covid excuse thanks to COL’s disgusting abuse of power and poor legislation.

  15. BTW – I think in general NZ police are good at their jobs and it is a very hard job to do.

    My family was a victim of a very serious crime and the police were incredibly professional and sympathetic. My comments about the police are around making sure that the bad people that invariably want to abuse police power can not do so. You are an idiot if you think that police power will not be abused because in any organisation there are always bad people who let everyone else down.

    There is also the concerning trend in NZ of police being used politically (Aka Nicky Hager, Dotcom) by governments and other agencies for private or political gain, against whistleblowers, or to intimidate innocent people into not investigating or revealing the truth. That cascades into other victims never coming forward as justice does not get done.

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