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NZ’s COVID Policy Is Wrongfully and Unnecessarily Criminalising Ordinary, Innocent NZ Citizens

Lizbet Hush

  • Citizens told to inform on each other.
  • COVID infringements.
  • Church leaders censured over a COVID cluster.
  • Hunger strikes
  • Escape attempts
  • Mask fines
  • Police involvement for contract tracing delinquents
  • Thousands of returnees isolated in quarantine facilities; those testing positive forced with non-positive family members into mandatory quarantine facilities surrounded by military, police and extra security, tracking cards and “you’ll stay two weeks longer if you refuse a test.” 
  • A grieving mother jailed for trying to give her children closure upon the death of their father. 

These are just some of the concerning stories coming from quarantine detainees.

What kind of a place are we living in? Is this an Eastern bloc country out of the Cold War era? Are we in WWII under enemy control? Have we somehow been transported into an alternate Orwellian 1984 New Zealand or are we mass dreaming some horrible B-rated dystopian novel?

Something isn’t right and it’s not the coronavirus. It’s New Zealand’s draconian and impossible COVID Elimination policy and the insistence on carrying on with this misinformed and dangerous charade.

It’s turning ordinary people into criminals for simply trying to live a normal life — one that isn’t the “new normal”. Apparently we no longer have the right to compassion or to critically think or critically research if our conclusions are not the same as the NZ government’s and if we do not support and praise current policy. 

We no longer have the right to decide how many people we can have on our own property or in our own home, or how to manage our own health choices. We have no right to visit family, to travel to the grocery store or to work to put food on the table unless the government tells us we may, and how we may. We are even told how far to stand apart from each other. We cannot hike or boat or fish or even go to the beach without the government’s permission. There is no freedom to gather to worship, attend a funeral or a wedding unless the government says we can.  We can be locked down within a street, a suburb, a city, a region or as a country at a moment’s notice. We are labelled criminals if we try to live a normal life. We are criminalised for simply desiring a normal life.

It doesn’t matter how many times the government tries to sell us the tale that COVID-19 is a sure death sentence and we should fear it more than anything else on earth and that we are selfish if we don’t believe them. Some of us have real-life experience and have actually gone through much worse in our lives. We know that when we reach 95 we will want to live, not just survive. 

The rest of us can actually read. Quite a few of us are experts at research. Some of us are well connected overseas — even with medical professionals and scientists. More are capable of calculating statistics off the official WHO and CDC websites themselves. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s not misinformation.  It’s not denial that it’s a real virus.  It’s the fact that the numbers aren’t adding up.

In New Zealand, we have 24 deaths. Let’s repeat that: 24 deaths. A few not even tested from what is understood. Very few in ICU. Tragic as this is, since when is this considered a good enough excuse to institute what is essentially martial law and grant unprecedented power to the government of New Zealand? Since when do we shut a country down for 24 deaths?  Since when are civil liberties trampled for 24 deaths?

Please, let’s not pretend it’s not out of the ordinary or that it is a necessity in these times. New Zealand is one big small town. People know people. It’s super hard to keep secrets. We know the stories. We know the innocent who are being labelled and threatened and criminalised.  It could be any one of us on any day. Even if the NZ government says 2+2=50,000, it still equals four. It shouldn’t be a crime to live, to choose and to determine our own fate. A dangerous precedent is being set and it’s not one any of us will want our children to live with.

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