“The Government’s response to a ruling on the Level 4 lockdown suggests that it believes it’s above the law,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
The High Court has ruled that the first nine days of the Level 4 lockdown wasn’t mandated by law and was contrary to the Bill of Rights Act.
“Asked this afternoon why the Prime Minister wasn’t at a press conference to respond to the High Court’s ruling, the Attorney-General said: ‘She's got plenty to do today without reading finer legal details and getting her head around it.’
“The Prime Minister has fronted the Government’s response to Covid-19 from day one, but this afternoon was nowhere to be found. The PM appears to believe she can get away with an illegal lockdown without accountability.
“During April and May, ACT questioned whether Police were acting within the law and asked that the Government publicly release the legal advice underpinning the lockdown.
“It’s now obvious that the Attorney-General and the Police Commissioner didn’t want to release the advice because they knew the lockdown was illegal.
“The Prime Minister and the Government relied on the menacing euphemisms of the former Police Commissioner to enforce the lockdown.
“Mike Bush told New Zealanders that Police may ‘have a little drive with you to see where you're going’, that people who didn’t comply would be ‘having a little trip to our place’, and that ‘it’s the smiling face of Police until it needs to be something else’.
“Were these comments in keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment to kindness?
“This episode shows that underneath all of the kindness is a Government that is willing to bully and break the law.”