Democracy Action fully supports recent calls for a Royal Commission into the COVID-19 response, and strongly suggests its remit includes an expert examination of the legality, or more likely illegality, of iwi roadblocks. Euphemistically called ‘community checkpoints’, these roadblocks purported to protect isolated communities from the pandemic but were inconsistent with legal instructions to the general public.
In a recent media release Democracy Action spokesperson, Lee Short, said:
“Recently both Act Leader David Seymour and former Labour Party candidate, now communications advisor Josie Pagani, have called for a Royal Commission into the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Government winding up Parliament’s Epidemic Response Committee, a Royal Commission is needed to provide a thorough independent assessment of how the crisis was managed.”
“The Royal Commission, which we believe should start before the election, needs to look at the roadblocks closely. Were they legal? What support did the Government and Police give to them? How many motorists were intimidated by iwi or gang members at those roadblocks? What precedent has been set by official tolerance of these self-appointed ‘checkpoints’?”
“These are serious questions which the Government has not answered. A Royal Commission will,” Mr Short said.
The New Zealand public has a right to answers and accountability, writes journalist Michael Coote in his opinion piece published by NZCPR: Inquiries now imperative into Maori COVID-19 roadblocks and state complicity
Point of Order has asked pertinent questions of the Police and press officers working for the Prime Minister which have not been addressed. See: Cops help iwi with roadblocks as a cultural response to Covid-19 – and perhaps to portend a policing “partnership”
Recommended reading: 'Hone commands - Police blink', an opinion piece by a member of the Democracy Action Working Group.
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