A court has ruled that Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand government implemented illegal border policies that stripped citizens of their rights and left Kiwis stranded in foreign countries.
Unlike most countries, Ardern decided the best border policy for Kiwis was to use a lottery (yes, dumb luck) to determine which citizens had a right to return to New Zealand and into the loving arms of quarantine guards at military-run quarantine facilities.
Surprisingly, the forced confinement at threat of penalty wasn’t what Justice Jillian Mallon had a problem with: she found that part reasonable as part of New Zealand’s pandemic response.
However, she found that, in using an arbitrary lottery system, the government had acted “unlawfully, unreasonably and in breach of the Bill of Rights that states every New Zealand citizen has the right to enter New Zealand.”
“New Zealanders’ right to enter their country could be infringed in some instances in a manner that was not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society,” wrote Justice Mallon.
Besides human rights concerns, the policy has also been a disaster from a PR perspective. In one instance, a pregnant woman, who happened to be a journalist, was left stranded in a foreign country.
She, of course, soon was granted entry as thousands of less-connected Kiwis sat in waiting.
“We now have judicial confirmation of state-sponsored cruelty that was the MIQ lottery,” opposition lawmaker Chris Bishop said.
“Pregnant women like journalist Charlotte Bellis were denied MIQ vouchers to enter New Zealand. People couldn’t return to be with loved ones in the final stages of their lives.”
New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern has been found by the courts to have broken the law by decreeing lockdowns without due process and violating citizen’s rights. Her political opponents are demanding that she resign.
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) April 27, 2022