New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s “quarantine lottery” violated citizens’ rights, a high court found on Wednesday.
Far-left PM Jacinda Ardern imposed a dystopian zero-Covid policy that resulted in New Zealanders stuck offshore or stuck in other countries and unable to return home.
New Zealanders desperate to return home were forced to participate in a ‘quarantine lottery’ in order to secure a bed in a military-run ‘quarantine hotel.’
Many New Zealanders were stuck waiting in other countries as their visas expired.
High Court Justice Jillian Mallon on Wednesday ruled this violated New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act, which guarantees every citizen the right to enter New Zealand.
“New Zealanders’ right to enter their country could be infringed in some instances in a manner that was not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society,” the judge concluded.
The lawsuit was brought by Grounded Kiwis, a lobbying group that used crowdfunding to bring the case to the high court.
ABC News reported:
During the height of pandemic restrictions, thousands of New Zealanders desperate to return home essentially had to roll the dice month after month as they tried to secure a coveted bed in a quarantine hotel run by the military.
On Wednesday, a New Zealand court ruled that the government had breached the rights of its own citizens by imposing the lottery-style system on them.
A group called Grounded Kiwis had used crowdsourcing to help fund their case against the government.
But while they were celebrating their victory, the case may have little impact going forward as New Zealand has since abandoned its zero-tolerance approach to the virus and largely dismantled its contentious quarantine system.
Central to the case was New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act, which guarantees every citizen the right to return home.
High Court Justice Jillian Mallon ruled that forcing people to stay in quarantine hotels for two weeks initially, and later for one week, was reasonable given the circumstances of the pandemic.
But she found that operating a lottery-style system for the beds was unreasonable, and did not take into account how long people had been waiting abroad, or whether they had a compelling need to return home.