Heather du Plessis-Allan: Level 2 rules are unfair

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jun 2020, 4:53PM

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Level 2 rules are unfair

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Tue, 2 Jun 2020, 4:53PM

COMMENT:

This is unfair isn’t it?

For the government to keep on imposing level 2 rules on businesses but not on protestors is deeply unfair.

It’s quite clear there is very little risk to the protestors. The director general of health Ashley Bloomfield’s today said they don’t need to quarantine for 2 weeks because there’s no community transmission in the country.

If that’s the case, that the risk is so low a group of 2000 doesn’t require quarantine… then why continue to punish businesses with limits of 100 and social distancing?

And let’s be clear those rules are killing some businesses. We’ve heard today that some central Auckland restaurants are making as little as 100 dollars a day. This weekend, I walked away from a café because the rules made it too hard to get a coffee there.

So I walked up the road and got it at a place that was cramming people in.

These rules are now only punishing the rule followers: the good among us. The rule breakers are getting the upper hand here.

I understand why the police didn’t enforce the rules on that crowd. That would’ve been a terrible look. A group protesting heavy handed policing in the US, met with what they could call heavy handed policing in New Zealand. That was never going to happen under this police commissioner.

But it creates a rule of law problem here doesn’t it. What are they authorities going to do a business takes the same approach as these protestors? If a bar decides to open up like normal and let the punters sweat it out on the dancefloor… what are the authorities going to do? Will they turn a blind eye like they have to the protestors? They’re going to have to aren’t they, otherwise they’re favouring one group over the other.

They double standard already is obvious. The pm is reluctant to call out the protestors and tell them off, but only a few weeks ago was very happy to tell off burger fuel for its unruly queues.

The answer isn’t to punish everyone equally. It’s to lift the rules. Because the social licence is evaporating fast. Once you’ve got a high profile example of someone… or some 2000… getting away with it… it encourages others to do the same.

So, the PM can stick to the plan if she wants and keep us in level 2 for another 8 days at least, but chances are that for many people… level 1 arrived yesterday when they saw those protest crowds on tele.