The bold court actions by some Aucklanders against the Prime Minister and other government officials, seeking a writ of habeas corpus, were always doomed to failure.
For the cold hard fact was the ill-considered lock-down was legal. Thus we were subject to the imposition of a Police state with elements of the worst of North Korea and other historic dictatorships, not even matched in wartime.
As the Australian Prime Minister pointed out, we have not one but two crises to deal with, namely a health issue and an economic concern. That’s a tricky balancing act which the Aussies have tackled, ironically still only incurring a similar death toll on a population basis to us.
Australia will still suffer a deep recession. We will have a 1930s type depression which will bring in its wake a health crisis far worst than coronavirus, killer of the old and infirm.
Depression, suicides, family violence and despair lie ahead.
New Zealand had a huge opportunity to minimise all of that for the reasons I’ve previously outlined.
For by the time the virus reached our shores we knew from the evidence elsewhere who it killed and why. Instead, the government acted as if it could kill us all, in the process damaging the economy and pushing us into at the least, a five year depression.
The goal should have been to get people back to work, publicise the spacing and insist on face masks.
More people would have copped the virus but in the vast majority of cases, as the evidence abroad shows, been back on deck in a week.
Even restaurants could have opened by having a bowl of warm water and soap on a table at their entrance with a pile of towels. Diners would wash their hands-on arrival and departure.
Each table could be surrounded by screens and confined to say groups of no more than four.
Instead a blanket ban destroyed I’ll wager, 60% of family businesses, their owners have put passion and long hours into building.
I could go on with numerous other examples but my salient point is this. We must never again allow a situation where the law allows a young woman with much charm and little real world experience, to legally take such dictatorial powers.
The current legislation needs to be reconsidered in Parliament. While it’s conceivable situations could arise in the future requiring such a heavy-handed approach, the supporting legislation should require say a 75% Parliamentary vote.
Had that existed there would have been sufficient pragmatists in the Opposition plus NZ First that would have prevented the disaster we have lying ahead.
The Prime Minister’s partner spoke out in her defence a week back, accusing critics of an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach.
That would be valid if we were solely dealing with a health crisis. But we’re not, thus the reality is that the government is at the top of the cliff, pushing everyone over. It’s been a catastrophic misjudgement.