Traffic lights to become law without any scrutiny

The Government’s intention to ram through the traffic light framework legislation under urgency this week with no opportunity for public consultation is an outrageous abuse of power, says National’s Covid spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“The Prime Minister announced the traffic light framework on Friday, October 22 but, exactly a month later, there is no sign of the legislation required to actually implement it.

“This arrogant, incompetent Government clearly intends to use its Parliamentary majority to ram it through without any chance for public comment or scrutiny.

“Answers to my written questions reveal that drafting instructions for the legislation were actually only issued on October 27, five days after the framework was announced.

“The Government has signalled the legislation will be introduced tomorrow under urgency. The Opposition has still not been provided a copy of the legislation to understand what it entails. With Parliament not sitting in the week starting November 29, the Bill will have to be passed through all stages this week for the legislation to take effect in early December.

“This is a truly shambolic and repugnant way to make law that will affect every New Zealander. To say the legislation is significant is an understatement. It will potentially affect the lives of every New Zealander, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, along with businesses both small and large. The traffic light framework will impact every Kiwi, during summer and beyond.

“The traffic light framework can now be added to the very long and rapidly growing list of things the Government just did not think about, plan for, or contemplate during 2021. It has clearly been developed on the fly – like most of the Government’s response to Delta – with little or no planning.

“It is critical Parliament gets this legislation right, but there seems little chance of that happening with the Government ramming it through under urgency and with no select committee scrutiny.

“The Ministry of Justice didn’t even provide a Bill of Rights analysis of the traffic light framework before it was announced. This is an astounding oversight, given the complexities involved.”