Government should apologise, not appeal

The Government should quit while it’s behind and rule out appealing the Grounded Kiwis High Court judgment says National’s COVID-19 Spokesperson Chris Bishop.

Last week the High Court issued declarations confirming that the operation of MIQ from September to December last year breached the fundamental right of New Zealanders to return to their home country. It has been reported today that the government has not ruled out appealing the judgment.


“Appealing this judgment would be nuts. MIQ was a lottery of human misery that caused immense pain for thousands of New Zealanders. The sooner we can put it behind us as a country, the better.


“The only thing appealing the judgment would do is cost the Government tens of thousands of dollars in time and legal fees, and force Grounded Kiwis to do the same.


“The Government should accept the loss and apologise for the operation of MIQ between September and December last year. As the High Court found, it unreasonably stopped New Zealanders returning to their own country. People missed the deaths of loved ones, the births of new Kiwis, and were stuck overseas when their visas expired.


“The most frustrating thing was that many suggestions of better ways to operate MIQ were made, only to be ignored by the Government. National’s own suggestion of a points system was even referred to by Justice Mallon in the substantive MIQ judgment.


“Thankfully New Zealand is now reconnecting with the world after two years as the hermit kingdom. But we should never forget the hardship that MIQ created for so many. There are tens of thousands of New Zealanders around the world who feel like their country abandoned them.


“Rather than appealing, the Government should be apologising.”