Well, it looks like our government is not competent enough to sort out the laws and has been acting Ultra Vires, outside the law and with no authority. Two points from yesterday: the first is from Cameron Slater’s blog. He’s had someone show him the advice from the crown solicitor to the police, which the government is refusing to release. He comments.
It is now clear that the first nine days of the lockdown were outside of the law and any person or business harassed by Police to comply would now likely be able to have any charges dropped, and any damages made good because of the ultra vires actions of the government and the Police.
A government that breaks its own laws and enforces those illegal actions is no longer democratic. It is now operating in a despotic manner. The sad fact is that without the actions of whistleblowers bringing this into the open then the situation would have continued to occur. It is also likely that the entire lockdown under level four and possibly many aspects of level three are still illegal because of the lack of specificity of Health Act directions.
An urgent inquiry now needs to be undertaken. The Police, at least, clearly knew that enforcement of the isolation campaign was illegal. There must surely be a paper trail between Police, the Prime Minister and the Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, that shows that they knew the lockdown was illegal, but that they proceeded anyway.
When governments break their own laws they must be held to account, and this whole show has been run from both the Prime Minister’s office and the office of Ashley Bloomfield. They have, prima facie, acted illegally and wrecked the economy, businesses and peoples lives as a result. They must be held to account.
David Farrar and Cam Slater clash. Cam has become a nationalist, while David is a globalist liberal on the wetter end of the National Party. He’s a pollster for that party, and to give him credit, he does not leak (unlike the government pollsters). He cites the attorney general from the previous government, and comments.
New Zealand Police’s decision to arrest Kiwis during alert level 4 despite being advised they had little legal basis to do so “undermines the rule of law” in New Zealand, the former Attorney-General believes.
The comment from Chris Finlayson comes just hours after leaked emails to NZ Herald revealed that police were told by Crown Law that they had little to no power to enforce lockdown rules.
Finlayson, a former National MP who served as Attorney-General for nine years between 2008 and 2017, says it’s clear the police have acted beyond their powers during the coronavirus crisis.
“We’re a society that is governed by the rule of law, which means the state can’t exercise power over people without the legal authority to do so,” he told Magic Talk host Ryan Bridge on Monday.
“Where do they get this legal authority? From the laws, and the laws should leave no one – not you, nor me – in any doubt at all about what our rights and duties are.
“I’m not surprised that Crown Law has provided that opinion, and I find it very troubling that people were arrested and certain actions taken without a proper legal basis. That total undermines the rule of law in this country.”
What happened is very serious. The Police decided to implement the wishes of the Government as opposed to enforcing the laws of the land as passed by Parliament. Those two things are very different.
Finlayson says he doubts those arrested for breaking lockdown rules will be prosecuted, as Crown Law’s advice proves police don’t have a leg to stand on.
Those arrested may have a case for wrongful arrest.
The left are saying… hold my beer. The safety of the people is the highest law (Cicero is useful at times to Chris Trotter). We can have a dictatorship for the people. The law does not matter.
The declaration of a State of Emergency is, by its very nature, an exceptional occurrence. Among the most extreme of all the powers wielded by executive authority, it is reserved for those moments when the normal appurtenances of state power are no longer deemed sufficient to maintain public safety. That only those constitutionally sanctioned to do so can declare a State of Emergency is less important than whether or not the persons so empowered believe that such a declaration will be effective. The declaration of a State of Emergency which cannot be enforced is, in effect, a declaration of war by the State upon its own citizens. Or, to put it another way: the safety of the people can only be maintained by exceptional legal means if the people themselves feel sufficiently threatened to abandon legal norms.
But who, in these situations, falls within the definition of “the people”? Clearly, not everyone can be included if the threat is located within the borders of the state. A nation under foreign attack; responding to a natural disaster; or facing down a global pandemic; will have no difficulty in accepting emergency regulations. Declaring a State of Emergency in the context of a political and/or economic challenge to the smooth functioning of society, however, is a much riskier proposition. Interfering with the free movement of individuals and/or the free disposition of their property in such circumstances can only be made effective by excluding the challenger/s from the usual definition of “the people”. For emergency measures to succeed, such individuals or groups they must first be transformed into “the enemy within”.
The question has to be one of proportion: is there consent from the people? Our government does not contain the biggest party in Parliament — National. It is the next three — Labour, NZ First and the Greens. All have a tendency to government by dictatorial fiat. I agree with Chris Trotter that in the end it will come down to votes, and liberal twittering about legality does not really work in NZ, where there is no real consitution. Chris Findlayson, who is a constitutional lawyer, would have lived through our last hard dictatorship — which was that of Muldoon, who had won power by election.
Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, who is often wrong, is also worried. Not about a dictatorship in an emergency, but the over reach and enrichment of the current international elite.
We have been compliant with this Police State because we have universally agreed that the curtailing of our civil liberties was required to defeat the pandemic, however there are limits to our good will and consent.
An Orwellian mass surveillance tracking system run by a company with deep ties to the deep state need to be the lines in the sand we are prepared to draw.
Government assurances today that any digital tracking is voluntary must not be allowed to move tomorrow.
Our consent to a Police State for a virus the vast majority of us won’t die or suffer from is not endless, and to believe otherwise is a grotesque misreading of our compliance.
Kiwis will work together until we don’t. When we don’t we will fight back. We did to stop the Unions in 1951, Muldoon in 1983, and well before that to ensure that feral iwi did not reave the Maori subjects of the crown during latter land wars (after Grey stopped being premier — there were land invasions in the early wars). Ardern is aware she’s been caught with her slip showing. So she is trying to coerce and bribe the media into silence.
The problem Jacinda Ardern has by calling this a draft opinion, is that upon receiving that opinion, the Deputy Commissioner Mike Clements, thought it was good enough to send and attach that document containing advice down the pipe to his line officers and regional commanders. He even provided his own summary of it when sending.
The next problem Jacinda Ardern has is that when they discovered that Mike Clements’ email had leaked, they’ve done what any office would do and gone after the documents, and then clutched on to a single line in a large document as their defence, without realising that the document had been disseminated widely to other Police. [The Crown Law reference for those wanting to OIA the document is POL055/2475].
This was what she used in parliament. So much for the most open and transparent government ever and also her claim to be able to exist in politics without ever telling a lie.
Wouldn’t the sensible answer be to release the final version? Instead we got flannel.
It was no surprise that Stuff ran a story earlier on Thursday and that the story matched exactly what Ardern said in the house. Her answers in the House and the Stuff story were pure flannel, attempting to distract from what they knew was going to be very embarrassing.
Which brings us to the bullying. When it became clear that the smoke and mirrors strategy had failed, Ardern got her functionaries in the Prime Minister’s Office to start hectoring the NZ Herald and NewstalkZB to pull the story because it was “wrong”, based on their claim the document was a draft. Ignoring of course that Mike Clements had sent the “draft” to his subordinates as gospel.
The problem with the “draft” story, apart from Mike Clements sending it everywhere, is that it presumes that there is a “final” version. If that is the case the Prime Minister must now clarify what the differences are between the “draft” and the “final” version.
And therein lies a further and rather an insurmountable problem, the laws quoted in the “draft” haven’t been changed. Therefore the advice cannot have been changed either. We know this to be the case because the subsequent Health Act notice made significant changes, which are now subject to a judicial review, in order to try to comply with the powers Police could use under the Health Act.
Furthermore, the Attorney General, David Parker, announced yesterday, that there would need to be law changes, required to support level two rules. Those rules are unenforceable under either the Health Act 1956 or the CDEMA.
So, if there were no problems and everything is all hunky-dory, why then the need to amend the law?
Occam’s Razor, that the simplest answer is most likely the best answer, suggests that the government knows they’ve been caught pants down and that they need to fix it
I won’t inflict the video from parliament of Ardern answering questions from Bridges (Leader of National Party) who has been requesting this legal advice for days: you can see it in the above link. I believe that we need to either have some trust of the Kiwi population — yes some are complete plonkers but most are sensible — to make their own decisions about how to limit interactions as we move out of crisis, and not micro regulate. If the police are allowed to micro regulate it will end badly.
Really badly. NZ has had riots before. Pray that they don’t happen again, and stay well away from crowds.