Two Labour Members of Parliament have confirmed the claim by Democracy Action that the Government and Police condoned the illegal iwi roadblocks on public roads. Tamati Coffey (Labour - Waiariki) and Kiri Allan (Labour – List MP living in the East Coast) have stated that these roadblocks were “well supported” by the Government and that police “helped with the checkpoints”.Read more
Meng Foon and Paul Hunt of the Human Rights Commission use the illegal roadblocks as an admirable illustration of the Treaty of Waitangi 'partnership' principle. It is a model they would like to see replicated.
“The two treaty partners collaborated – with kāwanatanga, or governorship, represented through local councils, Civil Defence and the Police, and rangatiratanga, the authority of chiefs, upheld by hapū and iwi”.
“This relationship between rangatiratanga and kāwanatanga is ready to be used across all aspects of government during the recovery programme. The time has come,” they write.Read more
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.Read more
The partnership interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi is manifesting in a myriad of ways. The recent unlawful closure of the road to the North Cape by Ngati Kuri, with the collaboration of government agencies including the Department of Conservation, the NZ Police and the NZ Transport Agency, is but another example.Read more
“It's my customary rights and I’m prepared to knock you out if you pass that gate,” a person blocking access says in a video filmed by Northland MP Matt King.Read more
The vigilantes manning the unauthorised roadblocks on public roads have no more legal authority to do so than your neighbour. Despite this, the highest authorities in Government and Police are encouraging these self-appointed groups to stop New Zealanders travelling and to turn them back if, in their inexpert opinion, motorists are breaking travel restrictions.Read more
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been called on to step in and provide strong and unequivocal leadership on the continuing and growing proliferation of illegal roadblocks. Democracy Action says that the self-appointed community activists and patched gang members manning the roadblocks have been emboldened by Police inaction on the clear offences. The Police seem to have taken their lead from Minister of Police Stuart Nash’s soft stance.Read more
During the COVID-19 epidemic, all New Zealanders are subject to lawful travel restrictions designed to protect public health, and which are enforceable by the police. Those who blatantly flout the restrictions can be arrested. There is however one group which appears to be above the law, and community group Democracy Action is calling on the government to take immediate action against the illegal blockades on public roads.Read more