Government can stop everyone leaving Auckland – except criminals
“Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson’s excuse that a man with COVID-19 crossing the border to the Waikato was “a decision for the courts” simply doesn’t wash,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Most of us thought if you crossed the border illegally, you’d get arrested. Who knew that if you get arrested first, you can cross the border legally?
“The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 gives the power to the Government to make orders that can lock New Zealanders in their homes, detail the type of food we can purchase, provide case by case decisions on business openings and travel, and establish enforced borders between regions.
“It is remarkable that despite this, the Government does not believe it has responsibility for the bailing of an individual through the Auckland border. It can dictate every other part of life.
“In case the Government forgot, bail conditions are also set by the Bail Act 2000.
“This isn't the court's fault. They play by the rules Parliament sets. The Government just didn't set any.
“People in Auckland who have been unable to leave for legitimate purposes, like to grieve for a loved one, have the right to feel let down by the Government.
“It’s time to set clear rules of the game for everyone and for the Government to step up and admit when it gets it wrong.”