Legal powers around lockdown rules may not stand up in court

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Apr 2020, 4:44PM
Police talking with surfers breaking the lockdown rules. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Legal powers around lockdown rules may not stand up in court

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 7 Apr 2020, 4:44PM

Legal experts say the legal powers keeping us in lockdown may not stand up in court.

Over the weekend - Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield used the Public Health Act to give police the power to arrest people who flout lockdown rules.

But University of Canterbury disaster law expert John Hopkins told Heather du Plessis-Allan that’s not what the act is for.

"We should welcome the fact that they introduced new laws at the weekend to make it more clear, but they've relied more on the Health Act, which is not really designed for the kind of lockdown that we've currently got."

But he says that doesn’t mean it won’t be legally enforced.

"The courts would be very unlikely to take that given to the reality that we're in. We're under a state of emergency and the police powers are extensive under that legislation as well. They're very broad."