Ramming massive human rights legislation through Parliament under urgency

Stuff reports:

The Government is urgently passing legislation that will seriously curb the freedoms of the unvaccinated without conventional parliamentary scrutiny, so it can become law for Auckland’s reopening on December 3.

Opposition MPs, legal experts, and the Human Rights Commission have all condemned the move as poor lawmaking.

This legislation will make some citizens, second class. They will have fewer rights than other citizens. Such a law should not be rushed through under urgency. Labour will not even be allowing a single New Zealander to submit on this law, despite the fact it will take basic rights away from several hundred thousand Kiwis. Even if you support the law, you should be appalled at this abuse of process.

Victoria University law professor Dr Dean Knight said he supported the Government’s Covid-19 measure, but law change that “seriously implicated” rights such as this needed to be interrogated.

“It is a constitutional disgrace that the legislation mandating this vaccination regime is being passed urgently this week,” Knight said, on Twitter. He was unavailable for an interview on Tuesday evening.

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt said anything less than robust scrutiny of the Government’s Covid-19 legislation as “highly problematic both constitutionally and in terms of the state’s human rights and te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations”.

“Balances have to be struck between human rights. This complex but essential exercise comes into sharp focus during a pandemic where measures that protect the rights to health and life must be balanced against other rights, such as the right to work and a decent standard of living,” Hunt said, in a statement.

People wonder why some protesters are getting angry. Some New Zealanders are going to be forced out of their jobs and lose their entire careers due to law changes, and Labour is not even allowing them to be heard.

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