Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Is New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown lawful?


Two law professors, Professor Andrew Geddis, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, and Professor Claudia Geiringer, Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington raise some questions about the legality of the lockdown orders that we in Aotearoa New Zealand are currently living under. We are, as from midnight last night, at Level Three, whereas we were at Level Four for the previous 33 days.

It will be interesting to see if there are any genuine challenges to the legality of the current lockdown orders. Such a challenge is likely to come in the form of a request for a judicial review. Two badly formulated claims for habeas corpus (A v Ardern [2020] NZHC 796; B v Ardern [2020] NZHC 814) have failed, but the article by Geddis and Geiringer certainly raise some issues that I think need clarification.

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and was diagnosed as being autistic aged sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

6 thoughts on “Is New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown lawful?

  1. What challenges have they raised? You didn’t share a link. It would be interesting to see what questions they are asking

    • Oops. I’ve added the link to the post, but for your convenience, it’s here

      • That makes for very interesting reading. I hope the government and parliament act to address those deficiencies while ensuring that the law doesn’t create room for abrogation of rights unnecessarily.

        • The legal system here gives considerable weight to the spirit orintent of the law when it come to interpreting the letter of the law, so the outcome of any challenge is open to question.

          The popular support for the authorities’ actions to date is such that any challenge is likely to be seen in a negative light by most Kiwis. Currently support runs at 88% for the government’s COVID-19 actions, and overall approval of the government’s management of the country has soared from 59% to 83%. That’s unprecedented.

          As I see it, it’s unlikely that the government or Parliament will move to “correct” any perceived flaws in the current regulations unless there is a successful challenge, probably in the form of a judicial review. In the current climate, it’s going to take a brave person to take that move.

          Perhaps some of those who are being prosecuted for flouting lockdown rules may challenge the legality of the charges, but not being particularly knowledgeable in such matters, I’m not sure how that would play out in the courts

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