Why was the government illegal? Because they could not be stuffed. They ordered a lockdown and then did not use the laws available — and there is a public health act for a reason which is managing epidemics — to make the correct orders.
And, as David Farrar notes, they were told this.
Hats off to Andrew Borrowdale. Who is he, you may well ask? He’s a Wellington lawyer – in fact he used to write laws for Parliament.
He was so agitated about the lack of legal grunt behind the country being locked down on March 26 that he took a case to the High Court to challenge it – and today he won.
Borrowdale didn’t argue about the wisdom of people staying at home, but he did argue about the Government’s right to order them to do so.
His view was reinforced by a Crown Law Office opinion, that he didn’t see before mounting his challenge, circulated to interested parties. The police top brass saw it and warned its officers that if they arrested people for being out and about during the first nine days of the lockdown they could be skating on thin ice.
The court ruling has surely thawed the ice, and those who were arrested by the cops in the first nine days could now have a case for wrongful arrest.
The High Court bench of three justices found that for the first nine days of the lockdown the Government’s requirement that Kiwis stay at home was justified – but unlawful.
Yes the Government made a series of announcements that were illegal. Will any heads roll for this? Of course not.
The level of incompetence here is quite staggering because the Government had all the powers it needed to enforce a lockdown. The Court ruled that the law allowed the Government to implement a lockdown.
The problem is none of the geniuses in Government thought for the first nine days that they should do anything more than hold press conferences and make press releases about what they wanted New Zealanders to do. They didn’t even bother to get a legal order backing up their statements.
If what they did on Day 9, they had done on Day 1, then everything would have been fine. But somehow the Attorney-General and others never thought about the need to actually follow the law as set down under the Acts of Parliament that specifically existed for a situation like this
David Farrar runs Curia research, which is the in house polling company for the National PArty. He is not fringe. This is not a conspiracy. This is now case law.
The press are spinning this as justified. It is not. If the law binds the subjects of her majesty Queen Eilzabeth of New Zealand (long may she reighn) then it binds her prime minister and the minister’s minions. If we have a Governer General with conjones,(We don’t she’s a woman) then there woould have been a carpeting and the use of reserve powers.
This is not he USA. We don’t have Presidential decrees, and our PM cannot, as Obama and Muldoon did, rule as a despot.
But this will end, and not in the way this government thinks it will.