Government And Police Need To Move Against Illegal Roadblocks
Pro-democracy lobby group Democracy Action urges the Government and Police to shut down the illegal roadblocks making an unwelcome return to our highways, stopping New Zealanders going about their lawful business.
Democracy Action spokesperson, Lee Short says: “Roadblocks or checkpoints run by anyone apart from Police, Defence personnel or authorised health officials are illegal. The Independent Police Conduct Authority confirmed this during the first wave of blockades. The Police should have cracked down then. Instead, they provided sunshades and traffic management advice to the roadblock organisers.”
“As we feared, this has created a precedent of Police enablement for illegal roadblocks. Activist Hone Harawira actually boasts of the good relationship the roadblock organisers have with Police. This is despite Harawira admitting that “he was not worried if the checkpoint did not have the legal authority to turn people away.” Hone might not be worried about the legality, but we are. The rule of law and equality before the law is the cornerstone of our democracy.”
“We are also opposed to iwi attempting to close what they are calling their ‘borders’ to legitimate travellers or impose different COVID-19 level restrictions. Borders are controlled by the Government and level restrictions by the Ministry of Health, not self-appointed community activists with a political agenda.
“Public health is a pretext here for an attempt by a few radicals to grab political power. The Government and Police must affirm that illegal actions are illegal, and actually enforce the law. Otherwise the situation will only get even worse. Democracy will be the poorer for it,” says Mr Short.