“Scenes of thousands of protesters shoulder-to-shoulder makes a mockery of the Government's COVID-19 restrictions and insults every New Zealander who's followed them," according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
"The Government is not committed to justice or science in fighting COVID-19, but a toxic combination of favouritism and fear. Film crews and Black Lives Matter protestors get a pass, leaving job losses and misery for the working class.
"There will be people who've lost their jobs, lost their businesses, in some cases even lost their homes under COVID-19 restrictions. There are people trapped overseas and separated from their families while the 'lucky' ones spend 14 days all but incarcerated in hotel rooms. These are the law-abiding New Zealanders playing their part in the ‘team of five million's’ effort to beat COVID-19. Tonight, they'll see thousands of people shoulder-to-shoulder protesting something that happened 12,000 kilometres away and, thankfully, has no parallel in New Zealand.
"Adding to the insult is the Government's response. Predictably, the Government will keep imposing ruinous restrictions on law-abiding New Zealanders while turning a blind eye to what should be considered a major public health risk if we took the Prime Minister's utterances seriously.
"ACT has been first, many times, to oppose racism, support freedom of expression, and oppose abuse of police power. As the Herald reported, I did this as recently as Wednesday when the Police came to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.
"However, we also believe in the rule of law, applied equally to all New Zealanders. Today's events have made a mockery of the Government and it must move quickly to Level 1 tomorrow."