Kommissar of All the Kiwis

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has joined Australia’s National Cabinet to contribute to the COVIS-19 response, Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying he was delighted to invite his New Zealand counterpart to attend the meeting with all Australian states, territory premiers and chief ministers.[1]

Curiously, Mr Morrison suggested to Ms Ardern a similar app to the controversial COVIDSafe app be developed for New Zealand. The app, which is used to trace Australian citizens, allows officials to de-encrypt contact information from the user’s phone on the basis of a positive COVID-19 result.  According to Dr Vanessa Teague, chief executive of Thinking CyberSecurity and an adjunct professor at the Australian National University, this “centralised” tracing app “inevitably means the authorities are getting a complete list of your contacts”.[2]

Morrison will most likely not be interested to discuss how his National Cabinet “ludicrously delayed reopening of the economy to repair the very mess for which it is totally responsible”.[3]  By entirely trusting the anointed advice of carefully selected medical advisers, writes emeritus professor David Flint, Morrison’s National Cabinet has not just “failed to protect the vulnerable to the high degree necessary”, but it “went beyond the pale in imposing a draconian and wholly unnecessary lockdown”.[4] Byassessing the matter from an essentially constitutional law perspective, Professor Flint concludes:  

In clear breach of the [Australian] constitution as originally intended, the National Cabinet imposed massive and unprecedented debt on the people, unlawfully suspending and destroying jobs, small business and much of the economic life of the nation as well as grotesquely limiting the people’s freedom with something approaching house arrest. The [Australian] people never agreed to this coup, this unconstitutional seizure of power … There was never an emergency which justified the use of such extreme powers.[5]

As for New Zealand, on March 23, 2020, a month after the country recorded its first case of coronavirus, Prime Minister Ardern announced a draconian national lockdown when it had only 102 cases and zero deaths.[6]  While people can argue the NZ government was only trying to stamp out the virus, during this crisis it has been patently obvious that such lockdown was used to increase the arbitrary power and control of the State over the citizens. “Undoubtedly we now have a tightly-knit oligarchy running New Zealand”, writes NZ political commentator Amy Brooke,[7]  who goes on to say

Initially, most New Zealanders acquiesced to what has been assessed as ‘the most significant impact on human rights in living memory’, with government imposing lockdown level four. However, the estimated number of deaths of those unable to access hospitals for scheduled cancer, kidney, heart and other urgent surgery and care is apparently going to be far greater than from Covid-19. Reportedly, 20.000 operations and 60,000 specialist appointments have been cancelled. This does not include the mental stress and anxiety of some who may well commit suicide, forced into financial ruin, with business collapsing nationwide, the loss of jobs and savings being eaten away.[8]

New Zealand has had no new cases of coronavirus more than a month after its strict lockdown began. Now that zero new cases of death by coronavirus have been registered in New Zealand, new legislation has been hastily passed in the country’s Parliament, allowing police to search homes without warrant and ignoring all concerns for basic rights and freedoms of citizens.[9]

Passed by 63 votes to 57, the coronavirus legislation was apparently required for the enforcement of further restrictions, including social distancing and other draconian measures resulting in sweeping police powers.[10] According to that country’s Attorney-General, David Parker, the new law has been designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19.[11] Mr Parker says the legislation will ensure all the restrictions on gatherings and physical distancing are still fully enforceable.[12]

Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, was not so impressed. He has expressed “deep concerns” about “the lack of scrutiny and rushed process for the Bill”. “This is a great failure of our democratic process. The new legislation … will result in sweeping police powers unseen in this country,” he said.[13]

This is not the first time the Prime Minister of New Zealand has taken advantage of the “pandemic” to use her “extraordinary” powers to introduce legislation devoid of sufficient public consultation. For example, while the population was distracted with dealing with the “pandemic”, her government rushed to introduce “the most extreme abortion law in the world”.[14]

Addressing the NZ Parliament on March 25 in order to justify the nation going “into an extreme lockdown”, Prime Minister Ardern contented that the job of her government and the job of every New Zealander is to save human lives. A State of National Emergency was said to be necessary in order to preserve such lives. For this particular purpose, she menacingly stated: “There will be no tolerance… We will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers if needed”.[15]

Surely the preservation of human live does not apply to unwanted new born babies, in particular those who have survived a “failed abortion”. Interestingly enough, polling showed prior to the enactment of the new law that women in New Zealand strongly opposed any changes proposed in the new legislation, with only 2 per cent of them supporting abortion being available on-demand up to birth, and 93 per cent opposing sex-selective abortion.[16]

Why did Scott Morrison invite such a controversial leader to join Australia’s National Cabinet, one who took full advantage of the coronavirus hysteria not only to undermine fundamental rights but also to rush the world’s most extreme abortion legislation?  Of course, lockdown was always an easy option for such political leaders, freeing themselves to structure target isolation measures required to prevent all the many varieties of damage thus far inflicted by the ruinous effects of their heavy-handed response to the coronavirus.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am quite happy for both leaders to talk about things. However, I would be quite concerned if the Australian Prime Minister seriously believes that he has anything good to learn from a person who shows no regard for the fundamental rights of every human being, including unwanted babies who are left to die unassisted after a “failed” abortion. Of course, it is bad enough that the radical and illiberal actions of the Australian government have already provoked far more harm to our society than a predominantly mild infection has or ever will.   

Dr Augusto Zimmermann PhD, LLM, LLB, DipEd, CertIntArb is Professor and Head of Law at Sheridan College in Perth/WA, and Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. He is President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA), and former Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, from 2012-2017.  

[1] Melanie Dinjaski, ‘Coronavirus: NZ PM Jacinda Ardern to Join Australia’s National Cabinet Meeting’, 9News, May 4, 2020, at https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-jacinda-ardern-new-zealand-pm-to-join-australia-national-cabinet-meeting/5a9bf48a-ef12-479a-833a-03491b529118

[2] Michael McGowan, ‘Privacy Concerns Persist Over Australia’s Coronavirus Tracing App’, The Guardian, April 20, 2020, at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/20/privacy-concerns-persist-over-australias-coronavirus-tracing-app

[3] David Flint, ‘Professor Lockdown and the Hypocrisy of the Elites’, The Spectator Australia, 16 May 2020, at https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/05/professor-lockdown-and-the-hypocrisy-of-the-elites/

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Sophie Cousins, ‘New Zealand Eliminates COVID-19’, The LanceNet , May 9, 2020, at https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31097-7/fulltext

[7] Amy Brooke, ‘Covid-19 and the Creeping State’, The Spectator Australia, May 16, 2020, at https://www.spectator.com.au/2020/05/covid-19-and-the-creeping-state/

[8] Ibid.

[9] Collette Devlin, ‘Coronavirus: New Covid-19 Law Gives Police Power to Conduct Warrantless Searches Amid Civil Liberty Concerns’, Stuff, May 14, 2020, at https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/121504938/coronavirus-new-covid19-law-gives-police-power-to-conduct-warrantless-searches-amid-civil-liberty-concerns

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] ‘NZ PM Rushes World’s Most Extreme Abortion Legislation Into Law While Country Distracted With Pandemic’, Right to Life UK,  March 18, 2020, at https://righttolife.org.uk/news/nz-pm-rushes-worlds-most-extreme-abortion-law-into-law-while-country-distracted-with-pandemic/

[15] NZ Herald, ‘Your Job is to Save Live – PM to NZers Ahead of Lockdown’, NewstalkZB, March 25, 2020, at https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-jacinda-ardern-tells-public-your-job-is-to-save-lives/

[16] ‘Where do the NZ Public Actually Stand?’, at https://bothlivesmatter.org.nz/#public-opinion


12 thoughts on “Kommissar of All the Kiwis

  • Stephen Due says:

    Of course you know that we have a ‘climate emergency’ according to many media commentators, celebrities, politicians, and a number of municipal councils. How long will it be before draconian powers are used to deal with that ’emergency’? Clearly there are plenty of ‘experts’ already salivating at the prospect. First hit us with ‘The Science’, then hit us with the Police State. Too easy, it seems.

  • Biggles says:

    Stephen D. The global warming hoax, (climate emergency), will soon be given the lie by the advancing grand solar minimum, as the world’s temperature falls. The effect will make the Covid19 ‘crisis’seem like a fleabite, as millions, if not billions of deaths result from widespread starvation. Canada, for example, which feeds much of North Africa and the Middle East, will go out of the wheat export business.

  • en passant says:

    As or the ‘COVIDSafe Big Brother is watching you app’, I refuse to load it and deleted it from my wife’s phone.
    Biggles, you were doing well until you became an expert by saying “millions, if not billions of deaths [will] result from widespread starvation.” Please name them …

  • lloveday says:

    The Australian again won’t allow the facts to be pointed out.
    By “click-bait”, I refer to the introduction/precis to the article on the main web-page.
    Comment in full:
    The “click-bait” says “Britain reveals the depth of the economic damage wrought by virus”.
    The article accurately says “a grim lockdown continues to destroy the British economy” – the virus makes some people sick, while it is the government’s actions that have wrought economic damage.
    REJECTED, as normal.

  • T B LYNCH says:

    @ lloveday:- glad to see you have woken up re the Australian.
    The Australian is the fake rag that campaigned for [1] REPUBLIC [2] RUDD [3] TURNBULL.

  • pgang says:

    Augusto, it is good to (finally) read some legal speak regarding the Constitution in this matter. What is disappointing is that no lawyers or legal bodies have lifted a finger to do anything about it. In that regard, the legal profession must also be regarded as complicit and a failure.

  • lloveday says:

    For me The Australian subscription is marginal – I’ve cancelled twice, but re-subscribed.
    I basically read and appreciate:
    (Mrs) Shanahan

    and a few news items as I scan the earlier pages.

  • ianl says:

    For what it may be worth, I generally buy The Australian 3x a week – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. This is because on those days a chess column is published in which I have real interest. These columns are lifted from The Times (UK) anyway.

    Lachlan Murdoch’s baleful lefty influence has been increasingly obvious for some years now. The Gen-x sub-editorial influence is now smothering.

  • Biggles says:

    Ridiculous question, en passant, asking me to name a million or a billion people. Read David Archibald’s book Twilight of Abundance to get a feel for the extent of the starvation.

  • lloveday says:

    I don’t read anything en passant writes, other than indirectly via other posts, since he posted the most vile abuse of other Quadrant subscribers I’ve had the displeasure of reading. It was quickly deleted together with my temperate reply, so likely you missed it.
    It is of course ridiculous to ask you to name the many you state will die, or even one. Still I think you should be less dogmatic – you are not so prescience that you should claim, without qualification, what the next grand solar minimum will bring. “Expert” opinions I’ve read vary greatly; thegrandsolarminimum.com shows a graph of sunspot numbers for the past 400 years which I found interesting.
    It’s such a topical subject that 9NEWS had an article this morning “The last time the sun was this quiet, Earth experienced an ice age”, including “Scientists at NASA say we’re currently in a “Grand Solar Minimum” and “Even if a Grand Solar Minimum were to last a century, global temperatures would continue to warm”.
    I never take CNN’s word, but it rings true to me when they report “The world is facing multiple famines of “biblical proportions” in just a matter of months, the UN has said, warning that the coronavirus pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation”.
    The governments-caused economic recession with the consequent drop in overseas remittances and tourists will surely mean less food for many especially in poorer countries.

  • Biggles says:

    Thanks for the warning about en passant.
    I do not wish to be rude, but more fool you for listening to the Crappy News Network. “Biblical proportions in a few months is the sort of overblown fake news for which CNN is renowned.
    You can put NOAH and NASA in the same boat as CNN. They are data fudgers whose malfeasance makes our BOM look like a rank amateur. Look through some of Tony Heller’s posts in which he reveals their bastardry.

  • lloveday says:

    I read, not heard, it. Like pretty well everyone I read faster than someone can talk and can scan, skip, re-read… so I read copiously, and my watching is mainly films – just taking a break halfway through “Winds of the Wastelands”
    CNN were purportedly reporting what the UN said, not the CNN reporter’s opinion – and when I said “rings true”, I meant that it’s the sort of thing the UN may say, so maybe CNN got it right when they claimed that was what the UN said.

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