So much for rights and freedoms

The government gave in to public pressure and raised the number of people permitted at a funeral from 10 to 50.

However only 10 are permitted to attend a wedding, go to church or gather in a private home yet 100 are permitted in a restaurant, bar, casino or strip club.

Making it worse are the new powers the police have to ensure we all adhere to this.

The government has had nearly two months to work out legislation to cover Level 2 alert level and had it gone about it the right way the Opposition would have worked with it and supported it.

Instead they’ve rushed through legislation about which the Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned.

“For weeks the Government has known that we would be moving to alert level 2. It has not allowed enough time for careful public democratic consideration of this level 2 legislation. There has been no input from ordinary New Zealanders which is deeply regrettable,” said Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt. 

“This is a great failure of our democratic process. The new legislation, if passed in its current state, will result in sweeping police powers unseen in this country for many years.” . . .

“In times of national emergency sweeping powers are granted. There is a risk of overreach. Mistakes are made and later regretted. This is precisely when our national and international human rights, and Te Tiriti, commitments must be taken into account.” 

“Human rights can help to ensure all measures are effective, balanced, fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory, proportionate and subject to independent review. If the Government wishes to retain the public’s trust and confidence, it must honour human rights and Te Tiriti.”  

“A process of regular review by Parliament is needed. If passed in its current form, the Bill should be reviewed by select committee at regular terms and the Government should be open to any recommended changes.”   . . 

The rushed legislation is even worse when it gives police more powers at Level 2 than they had at Levels 4 and 3.

Heather du Plessis-Allan reckons the government has lost perspective:

Look at the powers the Government is giving police today and tell me they haven’t lost perspective over Covid-19.

Because it looks a lot like they have.

From today on – once this legislation passes – police will be able to come into your house without a warrant if they think there is a party going on inside. A party. Of more than 10 people. Not a murder scene, not drug-cooking, a gathering of more than 10 people.

That’s a family of two parents, four children and one grandchild.

Is that proportionate under level 2?

You could perhaps make excuses for the East German police approach under levels 3 or 4 when health authorities were worried about silent community transmission, but under level 2 this is overkill.

We have 74 people with Covid-19 in this country and yet the Government believes it’s fine to allow police unfettered access into the homes of 5 million people.

Because that’s what this means: warrantless entry means no one checks that the officers are doing the right thing … it is entirely up to them. . . 

Under normal circumstances a warrant from the court or a JP would be required and police would have to have reasonable grounds for requesting one.

How have we got to a stage where we think this is fine. Where we accept rules that say only 10 people are allowed at funerals but 100 people can go to a pub? Where families can’t get out of quarantine to say goodbye to dying family members and people in hospitals die without any loved ones holding their hands?

This all feels like a blinkered, mono-focused, perfectionist approach to get zero zero zero and to hell with the sadness and loss of human rights.

Politically the law passing today is not a good for the Government but especially bad for the Attorney General, David Parker. This is the same guy responsible for the stuff-up over whether the lockdown was legal or not. He has high regard for his own abilities and yet created far too many legal headaches for the Government thus far.

Perspective has been lost here.

So have rights and freedoms.

An observation by Theodore Dalrymple is apropos here:

It has long been my opinion that inside every sentimentalist there is a despot trying to get out. 

This government is becoming more despotic by the day and Labour’s coalition partners New Zealand First and the Green Party should be ashamed of their silent acquiescence to these new draconian powers which have been seized under urgency.

8 Responses to So much for rights and freedoms

  1. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    This is a very authoritarian regime, headed by a despotic snowflake


  2. Murray Roxburgh says:

    Well said that blogger what a sad indictment on every thinking person that there is no media printing such reasoned and thoughtful analysis.
    We have become a nation best represented as sheep, only here it is in a drought with 99% following the grain bin laying its stream of food across a parched bare paddock while the very few “Shy Feeders” stand aside.

    Thankyou Ele for a voice of reason.


  3. Roger Barton says:

    Do we know what powers the police did indeed have in Level 3/4?
    That nice David Parker certainly wasn’t unveiling his legal opinion to the select committee or the general public.
    We have every reason to be very suspicious.


  4. Teletext says:

    As I have been saying all along, this COL government doesn’t have a plan. It only reacts to situations and doesn’t think through what its pronouncements will mean in the real world.

    We were told last week that groups of 100 would be allowed at funerals and weddings but a few days later that was reduced to 10 without any coherent reason, only the usual “wishy-washy” platitudes that proclaimed the “we know better”. They have grown to be more arrogant than usual, obviously believing all that the “fawning media” are writing about them and that their beatified leader “St Cindy” can do no wrong in the eyes of we plebs and they can sleepwalk to re-election. Hopefully they are in for a real shock soon especially when the Gnome of St Mary’s Bay and his cronies are put in permanent retirement.

    I agree with M.R. above and say thanks Ele for providing the voice of reason and giving us access to stuff that the “media luvvies” could never write or pronounce or even more scary, could understand.


  5. adamsmith1922 says:

    Teletext,so true


  6. Heather Adam says:

    Ele for PM … someone with life experience, common sense and understanding of consequences, all sadly lacking in our current government mouthpiece.


  7. homepaddock says:

    I appreciate the support, but in defense of the media, that’s where I found Heather’s column and it has been giving pretty good coverage to criticisms of the legislation and National and Act’s opposition to it.


  8. […] The government gave in to public pressure and raised the number of people permitted at a funeral fro… […]


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