Open letter dated: 19 August 2021. From Nelson lawyer Sue Grey to the Prime Minister, Solicitor-General, Director General, Commissioner of Police and Hayley Isaacs.
Some very serious questions have arisen about the lawfulness or otherwise of the Covid 19 Public Health Response Order No 9 2021 (as it was worded initially and yesterday’s amendment), including how it can be reconciled with the fundamental rights protected by the NZ Bill of Rights Act and the Human Rights Act, good governance and democracy or the public interest.
Other serious questions have arisen about the police response to this Ministerial Order which undermine public confidence in the police, the rule of law and the current government.
A) I act for a woman who was arrested yesterday and detained overnight for an alleged breach of the latest Covid Health Response Order. A bail condition has been imposed prohibiting further breaches of this Order.
B) I have just been made aware of an announcement on Radio NZ to the effect that the police intend hunting down by helicopter people who choose to exercise fundamental rights to protest against the government’s chosen covid response.
C) I have received information from a group who feel threatened by an overflying police helicopter and assembly of other police nearby.
This concerning culture appears to be founded on what appears to be an unlawful Order with a disproportionate and irrational response, which promotes fear, rather than lawful principled solutions.
This appears to be incited by certain elected or employed public servants who appear to be out of touch with New Zealand culture, and international research and best practice for managing Covid.Indeed the actions are inconsistent with the government’s own advice to itself, including about the risks and benefits of masks and the experimental Pfizer injection.
The public concern is exacerbated by the government’s apparent attitude that it knows best, and its apparent ongoing disregard for the rule of law and the views of the people it was elected and employed to represent.
Sadly it is now a common topic of conversation between human rights advocates, farmers, small business owners, employees, mother’s and many others that this government has no apparent respect for centuries of jurisprudence or for the fundamental rights of living persons, and it has overlooked good solutions for many of the serious problems facing New Zealand.
The government actions, secrecy and lack of engagement with the public has created serious concerns and an impression that the government is out of its depth and urgently needs a new strategy.
Please could you urgently provide:
a) copies of the advice papers to the Minister of Covid before his decision to make Covid 19 Public Health Response Order No 9 2021 and yesterday’s amended order
B) any advice the Minister received on compliance or otherwise of each order with the NZ Bill of Rights Act .
c) All Cabinet and/ or Ministerial.or other briefing notes about the government’s expectations for the police in the government’s Covid response;
d) Any instructions or briefings for the Tauranga police (whether to all NZ police or just to some groups of police) about how to handle any protests about the Covid response;
e) Any information to show what if any factors the police are expected to consider before deciding whether or not to exercise their discretion to charge anyone who questions the Covid response on and fundamental human rights grounds;
f) please could you also urgently provide the advice papers ( including assessment of compliance with the NZ Bill of Rights Act) to the Minister on the Covid Public Health Response Vaccination Order ( this is still outstanding despite repeated requests) and the Cabinet advice and decision to approve the use of the Pfizervax for children 12 and older despite the insignificant risk of Covid for children and the many outstanding concerns about its short and long term safety, efficacy, integrity and effectiveness against the Delta and other strains.
Please provide all readily available information by reply and the rest as soon as possible.
Thank you and kind regards
Sue Grey LLB (Hons), BSc