The ACT Party will today oppose the Government’s Public Health Response Bill.

“This law fails to balance the rights and freedoms and overall welfare of all New Zealanders with the Government’s effort to control COVID-19,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I have tried to work constructively with the Government on the legal framework for Alert Level 2, however, they have not taken my concern for the respect of people’s basic rights and freedoms seriously.

“The Government has not made sufficient changes that would allow me to support this Bill.

“The Bill gives the Government the power to create arbitrary rules that impose on people’s lives and curtails personal freedoms, such as through allowing cinemas to open with up to 100 people but barring more than 10 people from attending funerals.

“It allows the Government to single out groups of people and strip them of their basic rights under the guise of public safety.

“The Bill gives the Director General of Health too much power with not enough accountability. I have tried to work constructively to limit the power of the Director General, making a democratically elected Minister the only person with the power to issue long term orders, but the Government voted against that.

“New Zealand First have been silent throughout, when it comes to the crunch we see why Winston Peters has been voted out of three electorates and sacked from three governments, he never does the work.

“The ACT Party will stand up for the rights and freedoms of all New Zealanders and cannot support this law.”