HDPA: Is anyone else surprised Northland iwi stopping cars is now legal?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Dec 2021, 4:33PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

HDPA: Is anyone else surprised Northland iwi stopping cars is now legal?

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Fri, 3 Dec 2021, 4:33PM

Did it take anyone else by surprise to hear the Police Commissioner reveal the Government’s made it legal for iwi up north to stop your car?

Yeah, me too. 

So I checked it out.

Turns out, they did change the law.

Two weeks ago, on November 20 — a Saturday — they inserted a new bit into the Covid-19 Health Response Act granting the power to “close roads and public places and stop vehicles” to members of iwi organisations.  

It’s there in black and white.

This means you don’t have a choice anymore to ignore what you might consider a vigilante roadblock.

If you pull up to one of those iwi checkpoints up north, or anywhere really and Constable Hone Harawira pulls you over, leans in your window and demands to check your vaccination status, you don’t get to choose whether you comply or not.

You have to because it’s the law now. 

The Government will spin this by telling you it’s still technically a police checkpoint because there must be a police officer there.

But I’m sorry, having an officer in your window asking you for your test results is very different to having Constable Harawira making demands while a single copper sits next to their trailer 20 metres away playing on their cellphone.

What I find particularly objectionable about this is that we’ve been talking about this for days and asking the Government for clarity on what’s going to happen and at no point did anyone in Government tell us they’d changed this law.

Not when the Prime Minister was asked on Tuesday.

And not when Chris Hipkins was asked on Wednesday.

And not in any other interview since last Saturday when this topic came up.

If you don’t volunteer it and it’s relevant you’re hiding it.

So much for the most transparent government, huh? 

This is shady as all hell.