Jacinda Ardern is sued over coronavirus lockdown and is accused of imposing strict measures in New Zealand ‘for her political gain’
- Two men have sued Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the COVID-19 lockdown
- They told Auckland High Court the restriction were ‘all for her political gain’
- They filed an order demanding that the Prime Minister justify the ‘detention’
- The applicants also argued the lockdown was not worth the economic cost
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Jacinda Arden has been sued over the coronavirus lockdown and accused of imposing severe restrictions for her own ‘political gain’.
Two applicants made multiple claims against New Zealand’s Prime Minister at Auckland High Court on Thursday.
The men argued New Zealand’s level four lockdown was not worth the economic cost compared to the low number of coronavirus deaths, the New Zealand Herald reported.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has been sued over the coronavirus lockdown amid claims the restrictions served her own political gain
They also claimed the restrictions left them unlawfully detained and asked for a writ of habeas corpus, which seeks to release an imprisoned applicant from their detention.
The court order demands the imprisoned person be brought to court and the official must provide a valid or justified reason for their detention.
The first applicant is currently serving a home detention sentence and said Ms Ardern had no grounds to enact the lockdown.
He told Justice Mary Peters ‘the whole thing’s a joke’ and noted his sentence allows him to leave the house between 8am and 5pm every day.
He also alleged Ms Ardern had conspired with Sir Stephen Tindall to ruin the economy and said the United Nations Secretary-General should have been consulted instead.
The man noted only nine COVID-19 related deaths were confirmed at the time of lockdown.
He said this showed the restrictions were not in line with a modelling scenario that predicted up to 80,000 deaths.
One applicant claimed Ms Ardern had no grounds to enact the lockdown and filed an order demanding the Prime Minister justify the ‘detention’. Pictured: An empty Wellington street
The men argued the lockdown (pictured in Wellington) was not worth the economic cost in comparison to the low number of coronavirus deaths
The man also compared Ms Ardern to Hitler and the lockdown to the holocaust.
‘I don’t want my democratic rights to live in a society taken away on a whim,’ he said.
He rejected Justice Peters’ question to substitute Ms Ardern for the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who enacted the lockdown order.
The second applicant alleged more people would die from other illnesses because hospital resources were focused on battling the coronavirus.
‘The Prime Minister made the wrong decision … all for her political gain’, he said.
Ms Ardern’s representative, Crown lawyer Austin Powell, said the restrictions limited freedom of movement for everyone but they did not amount to detention.
He said there were no specific limitations on distancing from one’s home and no requirements to report on movements.
Mr Powell said the Health Minister had done what the law required him to do.
Justice Peters withheld her decision but said it would be given urgency.
Meanwhile Australia’s Prime Minister announced the nation’s lockdown would be in place for at least another four weeks on Thursday.
Mr Morrison urged Australians to adhere to regulations and practice social distancing.
The number of positive coronavirus cases in Australia currently sit at 6,522.
The number of positive coronavirus cases in Australia as of Friday April 17