Guest Post: Grounded Kiwis Files Judicial Review Claim in the High Court

Guest Post from Grounded Kiwis.

Grounded Kiwis File Judicial Review in the High Court

On Friday, Grounded Kiwis Group filed a judicial review claim in the High Court alleging the Minister of Health, Minister for Covid-19 Response, and Chief Executive of the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment acted unlawfully and unreasonably in respect of the design and operation of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine System (MIQ) system.

The group have engaged Paul Radich QC and Lucila van Dam, experienced public law barristers at Clifton Chambers in Wellington, to act for Grounded Kiwis.

Alexandra Birt of Grounded Kiwis announced this action in an interview with Radio New Zealand, and Paul Radich has also been interviewed about his approach to the case, one he describes as “in the public interest”.

“At the heart of our claim is our view that the Government has failed to take into account and protect the right of New Zealanders to enter New Zealand,” said Alexandra. The claim alleges the previous ‘first-in-first served’ allocation system, the current ‘lottery’ allocation system, and the emergency and group allocation systems are in breach of section 18(2) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The claim also alleges that various aspects of the system were not prescribed by law, and that the Minister for Covid-19 Response breached the public’s legitimate expectation that he would develop a sustainable, scalable model for isolation as a matter of priority.

To date, Grounded Kiwis has been supported by numerous lawyers and volunteers from many countries around the world. Paul and Lucila have prepared the group’s statement of claim on a pro-bono basis. On Friday, Grounded Kiwis launched a Give-a-Li ttle crowdfund campaign to raise fund to take the case to trial. As a result of generosity of so many people this campaign reached its $70,000 target in just 16 hours.

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