NZ Herald | 7 May 2020
Crown Law documents leaked to Newstalk ZB say the Government’s lockdown was unenforceable.
Attorney-General David Parker, however, says the document was a draft – and “not the considered advice of Crown Law”.
Kiwis’ freedoms were severely curtailed by the lockdown and hundreds who breached its rules were prosecuted.
The Crown Law documents seen by Newstalk ZB say the police powers were severely limited under the first directive of director general of health Ashley Bloomfield.
Under the directive, police were charged with ensuring businesses were closed and preventing the public from congregating in public places for amusement and recreation.
However Parker insisted in a statement that the documents were not the “considered advice” of Crown Law:
“Recent speculation that the Government’s legal advice had thrown doubt on the police enforcement powers under Level 4 is wrong,” he said.
“That speculation is based on draft views provided to agencies for feedback. That was not the considered advice of Crown Law, which was that there was no gap in enforcement powers.”
Shown the Crown Law documents, University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis said the restrictions wouldn’t allow the police to stop people from moving about and doing virtually anything, like surfing, if they weren’t congregating.