Sunday, 10 October 2021

Northland case should be charged, or the loophole she used closed


“The leaky boundaries in and out of Auckland lead to many questions about how the Government is administering them," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Either an official document was obtained under false pretences, an official document was faked, or the loopholes are so large that anyone can go anywhere without breaking the Government’s rules.

“Either the police should tell us they’re pressing charges for misuse of a document or fraud, or the Government should tell us it made a mistake and is closing whatever loophole was used.

“The Prime Minister needs to do more than cock her head to the side and sigh. Somebody has done something seriously wrong and 120,000 Northlanders are paying dearly for it. They deserve accountability.

“ACT MPs have worked hard to let people in sensitive situations cross borders under the law. We’ve helped businesses whose competitors had exemptions but not them, children trying to return to school, people trying to move house. The exemption process is tough on many people, we’re furious at the unfairness of recent cases.

“The government website for getting an essential worker exemption says applications must be backed by an authorised person from an authorised company. Did the Northland case get an exemption that way, and if an exemption was issued, who was the authorising company and individual?

“Despite the Government saying that the person was an ‘essential worker,’ is it possible that the case did not apply for a business travel exemption from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, but actually got a personal exemption from the Ministry of Health? At the very least we deserve to know if and what kind of exemption they received.  

“If a personal exemption was obtained from the Ministry of Health, it is clearly too easy to do so, the person couldn’t have had a legitimate reason for having such an exemption, so how did they get it? Either they’re guilty of a crime, or there is a loophole in the system.

“Or is it the case that they had no officially issued exemption whatsoever? Given police let one couple armed with a letter written to the Ministry of Health by MP Chlöe Swarbrick through the Auckland boundary, is it possible that the document was a total fake and they were waved through?

“All Northland is in lockdown because one person’s movements cannot be traced. At the very least, the Government should be clear about how the case got away with it, and what they’re going to do. Unfortunately, a signature Ardern position is that nobody’s ever responsible.”