Heather du Plessis-Allan: Government right to suspend flights from India

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Apr 2021, 7:47PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Government right to suspend flights from India

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Fri, 9 Apr 2021, 7:47PM

I understand that there is a bit of concern around the government’s decision to ban flights from India for two weeks, but I think this was the right decision.

And I also think we should brace ourselves for the chance that this will be extended beyond the current two week ban.

The reason I say that is because the situation in India is forecast to get a whole lot worse.

Right now they’re getting a lot of cases a day, but economist Rodney Jones is forecasting that will rise in a couple of weeks, so that suggests the ban might have to be extended.

The only way that that wouldn’t’ happen is if the Ministry of Health can figure out in the next couple of weeks how to tighten the system and stop so many positive cases coming through to our MIQ.

But I don’t have the confidence that they can figure something out that quickly, given their record of being slow in fixing most things.

This is going to raise some questions about whether it’s legal, because this is a breach of NZ citizens’ right to come in the Bill of Rights Act.

A lot of people including academics are saying it’s fine as long as it’s temporary… it gets tricky if it gets extended.

Obviously I’m not an expert but I don’t have the same concern.

We breach the bill of rights act every day in some form or another… putting people in prison is a breach.

We do it anyway because it’s necessary. This seems necessary given that our system cannot handle so many positive cases.

I think NZ citizens trapped in India right now have a good reason to be asking why the system isn’t yet equipped to weed out positive cases before they get on the plane given we’ve been talking about it for weeks.

But clearly it can’t.

And so the only option left is the nuclear one, which is a travel ban.

And I would expect, as I said, that there is a good chance the nuclear option goes on for longer than two weeks