Everyone accepts that we have both a health and an economic crisis. There has been much written about how these two problems have or should be balanced.
The mishandling of both problems is a constitutional crisis which has been in the pipeline for years. The NZ constitution is pretty simple and a bit vague but a very important part of it is that Parliament passes laws. If parliament does not do it, it is not the law. Pretty simple really but that is not what has been happening in NZ for many years.
I was involved in a rest home subsidy dispute. The law says that if you have gifted less than $27000pa you have not deprived yourself of property or income. MSD civil servants write a a policy which says that any gift no matter how small deprives you of income and they assessed thousands of people based on a policy that has no basis in law.The Courts have said they are wrong but they have not corrected their mistake. The reason for their original policy and reluctance to change is because they feel they work for the Government and have the power to “make the law work to their interpretation”. This is contrary to the Constitution and needs to be challenged to stop the civil servants manipulating the law
My next pet hate is the anti money laundering law (AML). In short the law says that when dealing with someone’s money you need to be sure they are not laundering money or financing terrorism. That’s pretty simply really if you have some knowledge of the person but internal affairs has come out with a written policy of what you should do which involves independent lawyers sighting and certifying your drivers licence and other stupid things. Do you really think that terrorists don’t have fake licences? and lawyers that will sign anything for them? Its rubbish. And it is not the law, it is a Government department making up its own rules because it thinks it has the power. But it doesn’t
This is but two example of civil servants out of control. There are many more. We generally just regard it as the problem of bureaucracy but it’s actually more sinister than that because these people are actually changing our rights beyond Parliaments law and they have come to believe that they have the power to do so.
Then Covid came along and a group of civil servants said, we can do this, let’s use the Health Act, Ashley can do it, we can get Cabinet to approve it and it will be legal. Did Ashley Bloomfield really write those s70 health act notices? or did crown law help him? This was not the Director General of Health taking reasonable precautions to solve a health problem. this was civil servants manipulating the Prime Minister, Cabinet and the Director General of Health to take a course of action that was illegal. The proposition should have been passed by Parliament and debated with much more expert opinion (economic and health)
But the civil servants sense of confidence was so great that they swayed Jacinda to follow their illegal path and Jacinda has no one knowledgeable to support her in Cabinet so as a result of this constitutional crisis the civil servants got what they wanted without Parliamentary debate.
The result is a doubling of NZ national debt and likely poverty for generations to come.
The judicial review by Andrew Borrowdale is an important case to bring these people back in line with the law, but unfortunately too late to rescue the squandered billions and destroyed aspirations.
Still acting the Goat but not stupid enough to go to Court.