Submission Template

COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill

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INSTRUCTIONS - HOW TO USE THIS TEMPLATE:

  1. Copy and paste the template into your document to edit.

  2. Choose 3+ points from the bullet points below and add them to your draft email or Word document.

  3. Add any other points you wish.

  4.  Click here to access the government website where you file your submissions.

  5. Click on the box to choose individual or organisation (Do not put VFF as the organisation - its just if you have an organisation) and then say whether you wish to be heard in person or not. (Most people file only written submissions but you can also appear before the committee to read them out.)

  6. Fill out the form with your details.

  7. Attach your document (word or PDF) to the relevant file OR copy and paste the text into the boxes provided. 

  8. Note: If you use the boxes they are split into two parts (i) We wish to make the following comments; and (ii) We wish to make the following recommendations. So bear that in mind when drafting your submissions.

  9.  Click here to read the Amendment Bill itself. You may find it helpful to read through OUR SUBMISSION [link to PDF] prior to doing your own. You can use any parts of our paper but do not copy it entirely. If you like what we have done then best thing to do is use the template below and say you endorse our one.  (You do not need to attach our submissions if you are endorsing them.) 

  10. Here is a Word version of our submission.




 

Your Submission Template:  


(Remember you will copy and paste this into a word doc and/or into the boxes if using the "boxes system" on the Parliament website.)

To: Ministry of Health

This is a submission on the Government's proposals to amend the law in respect of the Covid 19 Health Public Health Response Act 2020 by way of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2) (the Bill).

I make the following comments:

I oppose the proposed changes for the reasons given in this submission.


[the next three points you can leave in your submission / alter or delete but they are catch all points.]

1.The Bill attacks the civil liberties of all New Zealanders whether currently in New Zealand or stranded overseas and trying to return. The control orders envisaged by the Bill run counter to a number of rights protected by the BORA. These rights are fundamental.

2.This Bill's measures move well past the minimum necessary to achieve public health aims and into the realm of totalitarianism. Many of the current and proposed measures are not proportionate, reasonable or necessary. They are not motivated by public health. Rather a political agenda that fails to have the interests of New Zealanders at its core.

3. An example is Clause 13 which proposes increases to the fines by a colossal amount making them unequitable and beyond any level of appropriate or reasonable punishment.

[ your additional reason one ]

[ your additional reason two ]

[ your additional reason three ]

[ In addition I confirm that I endorse the reasons set out in the submission filed by Voices For Freedom ]

I recommend the following:

I oppose the Bill and recommend it be withdrawn. No convincing case for these amendments has been proposed. The proposals should be abandoned and the bill withdrawn.

[your additional recommendation if any - for example if you want to make particular recommendations on modifications to the Bill and/or alternative strategies ]


[your name]

 

Bullet points to choose from:


Unacceptable Consultation Process 

  • We wish to record our objection to the lack of consultation and the short time frame for making a submission through the Select Committee process. 
  • The Bill attacks the civil liberties of all New Zealanders whether currently in New Zealand or stranded overseas and trying to return. The control orders envisaged by the Bill run counter to a number of rights protected by the BORA. These rights are fundamental.


The Rule of Law Flouted

  • The Rule of Law is a fundamental cornerstone of any Westminster based democracy. The origins of exist in common law and are reflected in statutes, the Cabinet Manual and ancient English statutes such as the Magna Carta 1297.
  • Fundamental principles of the Rule Of Law are being flouted by this government with this legislation. Including that: everyone is subject to the law (including the Government); the law should be clear and clearly enforceable; legislation should be consistent with the dignity of the individual and the presumption in favour of liberty:


The Provisions Of The Original Act 

  • The abrogation of fundamental freedoms in the Covid Act is the antithesis of the innate requirements of humans to socially interact and connect and detrimental not only to the cohesion of society but also to its physical and mental health.
  • It has also caused untold destruction to the New Zealand economy.[1]”Keep them safe” has prevented treatment for a multitude of illnesses (leading in some cases to death due to lack of treatment) and the negative repercussions will impact these same citizens for decades.


The problems with this Bill

  • This Bill measures move well past the minimum necessary to achieve public health aims and into the realm of totalitarianism. Many of the current and proposed measures are not proportionate, reasonable or necessary. They are not motivated by public health. Rather a political agenda that fails to have the interests of New Zealanders at its core. 
  • Clause 4(3) amends Section 3 - Extends the period of time that Act is in force until 13 May 2023.  Already the Covid Act has been in existence beyond the period of any real health emergency.  To maintain such powers of segregation, intimidation and detention equates to at least maintaining a totalitarian regime. 
  • Clause 7 amends the original section 11 of the Covid Act by adding significant further provisions. One such provision, section 11(4), provides that goods prohibited from entering a port or place by a COVID-19 order are prohibited imports for the purposes of the Customs and Excise Act 2018. This provision is unjustified and contrary to the public interest and the rights and obligations of the medical profession. It appears to be a means to prohibit the import of antigen tests and safe and effective medications effectively and efficiently adopted and utilised by many other countries (such as India in their early treatment protocols). 
  • Clause 9 replaces section 12.  The proposals are subjective and vague and seek to confer a right on Government to make any order, impose any restriction, decide any detainment, and restrict any treatment other than such treatment as the government should determine. Whilst at the same time bamboozling the average person.  
  • Under clause 10(b) the Minister’s ability to use delegated legislation to delegate discretion to any third party is contrary to the Rule of Law and public law principles. Further, the provision is subjective and vague and therefore fails this fundamental constitutional principle test. 
  • Clause 12 amends section 22 to allow a class of persons identified solely by their ancestry to have powers to block roads under the ’supervision’ of a constable, but there is no definition of what ‘supervision’ entails. This provision is in contravention of the Rule of Law principles that everyone is equal before the law.  
  • Clause 13 proposes increasing the fines by a colossal amount making them unequitable and beyond any level of appropriate or reasonable punishment. The changes proposed regarding fines are outrageous and warrant that a significant part of our submissions be focused on them. These proposals transgress the minimum necessary to protect public health aims and instead into the realm of deprivation and punitive action. Fines can be issued in much the same way as a person is issued a parking ticket. The first the person may be aware of his or her obligation to pay $4,000 for an alleged breach could well be weeks later when the person receives a notification in the mail. The amendments sought in respect of the massive increase in fees and fines are unreasonable, irrational and out of all proportion to the purpose they seek to achieve. They are yet another example of our government seeking to undermine the Rule of Law.  
     

General Observations

  • There is no justification whatsoever for either the original powers to be extended or additional powers added. Since the early days of the emergency measures in 2020 there has been a plethora of data which should have been incorporated into any measures used, especially when these measures take away fundamental freedoms.
  • Lockdowns are not working in New Zealand.
  • Other countries such as Sweden have in the main not had draconian measures such as hard lockdowns or mandated mask wearing and yet continue to have consistently low death rates.  Sweden has trusted its citizens to take personal responsibility and has adopted logical science backed measures. Florida, USA has taken a similar approach. Norway and Denmark have recently lifted all restrictions and are “living with the virus”.
  • Covid Plan B and the Barrington Declaration all have pathways out which manage the risks without the requirement draconian laws or the removal of fundamental freedoms.  It is important to note that the Covid Plan B plan explains that asymptomatic people do not spread Covid. Without asymptomatic transmission there is no justification for lockdowns, masks or the Covid Act.
  • There is a conspicuous absence of any educational drive from the Government to look at any other solutions. For example, there is no encouragement for those at risk of the virus to take responsibility for their health, lose weight, eat healthily, exercise and ensure they get sufficient vitamin D, C and zinc. Instead, the measures imposed have added to these health concerns by keeping people inside and sedentary and stressed. All efforts have focused on an experimental medical intervention and punitive lockdowns.
    And all this for a virus with a less than 1% mortality rate even in the vulnerable. As discussed above, the measures adopted do not work and cause immeasurable damage, socially and economically.
  • The Government has not sought to expand medical capacity to deal with increased hospital admissions (if any) that it continues to expound will be the result of unmitigated spread.
  • Nor has the Government looked at therapeutics and the successes in other countries with tried and tested drugs as early intervention measures and to reduce hospital admissions.
  • The up-to-date health information requires a fresh approach and an open discussion of the path out of this ‘crisis’ with the full spectrum of scientists from across the world. Any measures need to be proportionate, taking account of the risks. The Government must be open and transparent with robust debate and accountability through checks and balances. 
  • Science turns into religion the moment you cannot question it.


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