Reflecting on choices and options

In my post late last week I wrote about Martin Lally’s attempt at a cost-benefit analysis around the current government’s strategy of eliminating Covid from (the wider community in) New Zealand.    I was interested in it as much as anything because there was, and is, no sign that the government –  or official agencies (notably Health and Treasury) – has attempted anything of the sort.  As I noted in the body of the post, whatever view one takes on events of the last six months, decision-making from here requires a genuinely marginal analysis, setting aside sunk costs and benefits and focusing just on things that can be controlled or influenced from here on, by New Zealand.

Prompted by that observation, Martin Lally modified his paper slightly to introduce an explicit forward-looking dimension (both versions are now linked to in the earlier post).  He ended up with this strong conclusion

“Switching to a Sweden-style approach is therefore clearly warranted.”

For various reasons, I didn’t think his analysis supported such a strong conclusion.  But as I said in the earlier post, and will no doubt reiterate at the end of this, I don’t have a strong view myself on what the appropriate approach for New Zealand now to take is.    And that is so even though if a coordinated global lockdown for six weeks would in fact wipe out the virus –  and I don’t purport to know if it would – I could imagine endorsing such an approach.   New Zealand voters, New Zealand governments, have to take the rest of the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.

Probably like quite a lot of other people, I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last few days trying to think through even how to think about the best answer to the “what approach should New Zealand take?” question. I was prompted initially by the columns by Matthew Hooton and Kate MacNamara in Friday’s Herald, but I’ve been trying to work through my own thoughts, not theirs.

There are too-easy approaches on both sides of the arguments.  As one extreme, there was this the other day from a Nobel (Memorial) Prize winning economist.

Which demonstrates about as little as, say, contrasting New Zealand’s expected fall in June quarter GDP (about 15 per cent) with the (much smaller) reported fall in Swedish GDP, and in turn contrasting those numbers with the respective number of Covid deaths.    Neither set of comparisons sheds almost any light at all, even on the handling of the last 5-6 months, let alone on the way forward.    Samples of one comparator rarely do, unless you are really confident that in all other respects your comparator is near-identical to your country.

But I’ve increasingly come to wonder whether GDP comparisons can tell us much at all for these purposes.    Perhaps they would do so, at least in principle, if governments only took –  or failed to take – public health measures, but in fact they do palliative economic stuff as well.    In principle, it isn’t that hard to keep measured GDP up even in a tight lockdown –  all sorts of government-funded make-work activities could achieve that (measured) effect.  But even without going to that extreme, a government that throws huge amounts of income support at people whose normal business/work is impeded by lockdowns –  or private social distancing –  will, in the short-run, generate more GDP than an alternative strategy (simply not letting people starve).    And yet in doing so it constrains future fiscal policy choices –  real choices around government goods and services and future income support and taxes –  in ways that won’t show up in short-term GDP calculations, perhaps not even in long-term ones.

No actual advanced country government has gone to either extreme –  keeping GDP all the way up “artificially”, or providing just enough support to avoid starvation –  but there is quite a range of support measures that have been put in place, differing in generosity,  duration, incentives effect, etc etc.   And it is very hard to do good cross-country comparisons.  I noticed on Stuff an op-ed from the local economist Shamubeel Eaqub.   He seems to be a supporter of the current elimination approach,  and believes it is a win-win (health and economics approach).   In many respects his short article is a not-unreasonable discussion of some of the issues.  But then notice this line, used in discussing this year’s economic outcomes for New Zealand and Sweden

The scale of fiscal stimulus has been larger than in Sweden. The IMF’s tallies show Sweden’s stimulus of 11 per cent to 17 per cent of GDP, compared to 21 per cent in New Zealand. It is difficult to tell how much of the difference is because of the public health approach versus other considerations. But the fiscal stimulus is around $15b to $33b larger, some of which will be simply spent (for example wage subsidies), while others will add infrastructure and future economic growth. These are not yet possible to tease out – but gives a sense of the difference in government response.

Which on the one hand acknowledges that our economic outcomes might in part simply reflect a choice to put more of a fiscal mortgage on our future, but on the other fails to distinguish what has been spent over recent months, what is just provisions either uncommitted or for future years, let alone the composition of that support.   The New Zealand government’s total commitments might be 20+ per cent of GDP, but what has been actually paid out this year is some relatively modest fraction of that.  Presumably there are similar issues with every country’s numbers.   In New Zealand the immediate relevance is the point many commentators have made: as the wage subsidy ends it is likely our economic activity will fall away, independent of any different choices around public health interventions.

There are similar issues down the track.  For example, Lally attempted to use the comparison between The Treasury’s December 2019 and May 2020 economic projections as a base for thinking about what economic difference the health intervention might have made.  But if fiscal policy can support incomes/GDP in the short-term, as it has done this year, macro policy more generally (fiscal and monetary policy) can support demand and activity over the sort of multi-year horizon (a) Treasury’s forecasts looked at, and (b) that we realistically face on current policies, given the needed border restrictions.  A sufficiently aggressive macro policy could get us back to full employment fairly quickly, and if Treasury or the Bank don’t forecast that that is a reflection on expected stabilisation policy choices, not on the merits, cost, or otherwise of the elimination strategy.     And, on the other hand, even achieving full employment that way might result in its own distortions.

It is likely that a national elimination strategy will lower potential output relative to the pre-Covid counterfactual but that effect might be quite modest, relative to the gains from getting actual output and employment quickly back to potential.    And it still doesn’t answer the question –  the important economic question – of whether, for New Zealand, a national elimination strategy will lower potential output (including per capita) over (say) the next five years in total by more or less than some mitigation strategy would.  And again, specifics are likely to matter.  If you are in an economy in which foreign tourism matters enormously the answers may differ somewhat than if your economy is one that prospers almost entirely by exporting things (without needing much people movement).   “May” in part because we don’t know how much travel would occur voluntarily even if travel were relatively unrestricted among a (hypothetical) group of countries pursuing something less than elimination.   European evidence this (northern) summer suggests that would not be close to zero.

And as I noted the other day, one of the biggest problems in all this is that no one –  certainly no one championing the elimination strategy –  can articulate a credible exit strategy from the regime of tight border controls, with –  in effect – heavy effective taxes on people who do move.  I read an interesting piece on Newsroom this morning by a journalist who appears to have fully convinced himself of the case for the status quo.   But there was no discussion at all as to where and how it all ends.   We cannot –  it seems from all I read –  simply assume a widely available fully effective vaccine in short order.  We cannot, it seems, simply assume the virus will go away in short order.  And we cannot assume the rest of the world suddenly adopts strategies that might lead to general suppression and/or elimination.

Now perhaps we can move to a model in which the testing at the border is finally being done consistently, competently and comprehensively –  as we were promised a couple of months ago – so that the threat of lurching into fresh lockdowns with no notice (and, evidently, with grossly inadequate preparations by ministers and officials) is largely, if never completely removed.    That sounds more or less plausible.  But it had better be true, since the fresh uncertainty that last week’s episode reintroduced is itself no small thing.

But even managing that won’t change the border being largely closed, indefinitely (even if at some point there is a pleasing travel “bubble” with Taiwan and the Cook Islands).   At a personal level, the border doesn’t greatly affect me now.  I wasn’t planning on going anywhere any time soon, and I’m among what might be a small minority of New Zealanders (let alone resident foreigners) with no close relatives living/working overseas (very few distant ones either).  No one in my family depends on the tourism sector.  But some 28 per cent of people resident in New Zealand are foreign born, and a fair chunk of those born in New Zealand in recent decades are now living overseas.  A large chunk of people work in businesses that depend on foreign tourism, export education etc.

Personal connections matter, even if they don’t show up in GDP numbers.   Weddings missed, funeral missed, Christmases not shared, grandchildren/grandparents not hugged all matter. They are the sort of things that make for a full life.  And sure technology helps, but no one really thinks it is the same, not for years and years anyway.

Now, a reasonable counter to these points is a reminder that New Zealand can only control what we do.  The rest of the world will do what it will.  Australians aren’t even free to leave the country at present –  whether for New Zealand or anywhere – and won’t let New Zealanders in anyway.  They’d presumably be even less likely to if we took a mitigation path instead.

If I were really forced to make a pick, I would probably go with the view that a well-managed  elimination approach will have a lower GDP cost (even with all the caveats above) than a mitigation approach.  But no one really knows do they?   As an example, case numbers and deaths have tailed off in Sweden too, but no one knows whether that is sustainable, or what the longer-term costs of their (private and government) restrictions and distancing measures might be (or what they might be applied to another country, like New Zealand.

And then one is still left trying to weigh the other costs and risks and implications of what maintaining the elimination strategy might mean, especially if we continued to have a government that didn’t do the basics well and then relied on extreme measures to contain relatively limited outbreaks (as happened in April –  recall the toughest lockdown in the world, the ban on swimming, the ban on funerals).     Tough restrictions might be tolerable in a very time-limited scenario –  the big wave of the 1918 flu in New Zealand swept through in about six weeks – but we are already months into Covid and, to repeat, there is no obvious end in sight.

There is a group of people –  presumably mostly on the left –  who seem only to happy to coerce populations without limit, talking (for example) of mandatory masks apparently indefinitely, or constraining capacity on individual buses and trains while doing nothing to increase capacity, or having lockdowns on a whim (even with compensation).  These same people are probably also quite happy to have people increasingly dependent on the grace and favour of governments, for handouts (new wage subsidies), for favoured stimulus programmes (the reward to lobbying and connections), and who are quite unbothered by –  for example –  banning the public celebration of Easter this year, even outdoors, even in modest gatherings.   Or banning funerals, some of the sorts of things that define our culture, our humanity.   There are people, even on the right, who seem only too happy to have privacy protections tossed out the window, allowing the state to track us all for the (indefinite) duration.  Of course, Covid is not some conspiracy to enable bigger more powerful governments –  any more than, say, World War Two was – but it, and the indefinite elimination approach, tends to have that effect anyway.

There don’t seem to be easy answers.  I –  unaffected much by the border – might prefer something like a highly-capably managed version of our elimination approach for now.  If it works, we mostly keep our freedoms, even if we are poorer.  There is also the option value of waiting –  if we abandon the elimination approach, it would be expensive to reinstate it later, and there are no commitment mechanisms to keep a government to a mitigation path after once it decided to try it.

But I can understand that for many the freedom to travel – without huge effective taxes –  is one of the important freedoms.   And again not one really captured in GDP.

I haven’t said much here about the likely increase in lives lost (and impairment of quality of life for some who didn’t die) were we to move to a mitigation strategy.  That is not because those effects are unimportant.  I touched on them in the earlier post, but I don’t purport to have a distinctive perspective on anything around how the virus itself might then progress through New Zealand.  But again, the absence of a credible exit strategy puts those costs, those people (who could be you, or me, or our families) in a different light.  One parallel that struck me some months ago were the lives we put on the line in World War Two.   No one really wanted a war, but in the end no one could see a satisfactory outcome unless we committed to war, knowing that would involved –  almost certainly –  large losses of lives of young men (mostly).    The parallel isn’t exact by any means, but I still find it worth reflecting on.

This has all been rather discursive, and inconclusive –  as much about helping to sort through my own thinking as anything else.  To repeat, I am not championing any specific strategy for New Zealand at present.  And I remain worried about the apparently weak levels of capability in our public service and political system to evaluate options and/or effective and efficiently operate whatever option is chosen from time to time.

For those interested in understanding Sweden itself, I saw a link the other day – I think on Marginal Revolution –  to this interesting, but avowedly incomplete, look at some of the distinctive features of the Swedish experience and system.

28 thoughts on “Reflecting on choices and options

  1. One approach is to estimate how many small and medium business fail each time we have a lock down at level 3 or 4.
    If the first time we lose say 15%.
    The second time say 10% of the remainder.
    How many more lock downs can we suffer before the business ecology fails. It is at this point the nation has to change tack.
    As a wild guess we cannot get below 60 -70% of failures before the country is in dire trouble.
    From this very simple analysis I guess one can suffer no more than one further lock down.

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  2. The experience of learning to manage Covid19 must result in a valuable tool for the future. Small missteps like the two women who went to Wellington while infected needed to occur in order to learn. Recent information like inadequate testing for front line workers is all helpful. To my mind elimination is still the right tool while treatments for symptoms develop and the promise of vaccines exists.
    Ignorant journalists with uninformed opinions are just as dangerous as the social media extremists that have come about.
    By the way mention of left and right above is unnecessary as there are nutters on both sides.

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  3. Human nature makes it difficult to admit you were wrong. This is more so for a politician with an election coming up. Moving to a mitigating strategy now would be taken as an admission we never needed the lockdown in the first place. Therefore we will just be forced to soldier on, despite new information.

    Sweden is in a similar category, those that claimed it was the wrong choice will continue to defend their point of view. The high death rate being the main reason. Yet Sweden has admitted they had a high number of deaths among those in rest homes that should have been prevented. But this is conveniently ignored as it could mean admission of being wrong.

    So we will muddle on, praying for the discovery of a vaccine, going up and down, all while being treated as children and extorted to be kind.

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    • All social welfare dependent care patients have been cut off from their mobile care workers. We should count the number of old people dying under lockdown swimming in waste and of starvation.

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  4. Michael

    We risk over thinking this.

    Can we achieve elimination of the virus, Yes or No?

    By way of comparison the Flu virus is still circulating and still causing deaths, mainly with the elderly. This should provide us with a strong hint. We are forced to live with the Flu virus even with the best vaccines medical expertise can provide.

    We are never going to eradicate Covid-19 from planet earth including NZ, short of closing our borders forever. Permanent border closers are not sustainable. Everyone knows this, or at least they should.

    If the Flu virus is a guide, we are highly unlikely to have an effective vaccine. I’m no epidemiologist but if the Flu virus can mutate and produce a different strain every year, then my guess is that Covid-19 is capable of the same mutations. We already know there are different strains. Will we produce ‘one vaccine to rule them all’? Only hubris would suggest the answer to that question is ‘yes’. Even if we could produce a universal vaccine, can you force people to be immunised? Not in liberal western democracies.

    Practically speaking, we are left with mitigation and possibly some form of gradual herd immunity.

    We should protect the elderly and those in rest homes. In the medium term we could insist upon authenticated ‘virus free’ travel documents at our borders, potentially followed up with a minimum of three days self isolation, followed by testing. We should have ‘swat’ teams that ‘go hard’ against all outbreaks.

    We should protect the economy by leaving businesses open, and allow people to use their own discretion about social distancing, masks, hand saintlier etc.

    Agree with me or not, this is where we are eventually going to land. It is in everyone’s best interests that we end the lockdowns and get there sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I do expect that we will end up where you suggest eventually – and that seemed to be Hooton’s suggestion – but there are probably still legitimate choices about how quickly we move to that point. For example, treatment of Covid seems much better than it was in March/April. Perhaps it will continue to improve, perhaps quite materially. If so then it might be worthwhile to maintain our current model for a bit longer, so that when our population is eventually exposed to the virus we are better placed to cope/treat, and perhaps even better placed to “protect the elderly” (whatever that means in practice – I recall Michael Baker in Feb/Mar suggesting “the elderly” could be relocated to a quarantine island for months, not an option likely to be well-received by anyone.

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      • As long as the quarantine island is warm, we’ll stocked and has an international airport I would be happy to go. As I am sure would many of the older population. You might need a rather large island.

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      • No you won’t get an island but cruise ships are being considered parked outside the harbour. Key considerations are separate toilet facilities and some key home comforts, TV, WiFi and close access to ICU and hospital care.

        Also it does fill up empty hotels and provide work for a plentiful supply of otherwise redundant hospitality workers.

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  5. Michael – is an elimination strategy really time consistent? I think that’s questionable if we ( reasonably) believe Covid will be in the world for years to come. Eventually the public’s patience with restrictions will break and/or the capacity of the government to support incomes will fall leading to the eventual adoption of a management strategy anyway. Seems likely to be pretty costly to continue trying to achieve fortress New Zealand. The Swedish or American approach ( they are kind of the same except the Swedes are more disciplined) and elimination look like extreme corner solutions to me. And corner solutions usually require extreme assumptions to be optimal.

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    • Interesting question Kelly. I was a bit surprised that you’d see Sweden (or the US) as the other corner solution – people reckon that the mass gathering restrictions in Sweden are somewhat similar to the NZ level 2, which isn’t total do-nothing (at least if the spirit is adhered to).

      I doubt the elimination approach can be sustained indefinitely, and I guess a growing number of people will realise that. But we’ve paid, in effect, a large upfront option premium to be at or near domestic elimination. That might still have some value for a while. For example, treatment of Covid seems to have improved greatly relative to where things were in March, and perhaps those improvements will continue. If so, then even if we concluded that eventually a large chunk of the population will have to get Covid, conceivably it could be worth delaying that for another year or more. Perhaps that might be especially so as we don’t know the disease dynamics if we did go to the Swedish model, and if it looked bad – at least initially – it isn’t implausible that politicians would be pressured to reverse course, paying the price of restoring the elimination option all over again.

      I’m not sure how to price the value of the option we’ve purchased, but it might be a useful frame to think things through.

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      • Yes Michael – where Sweden is now is not so different to NZ ( although their borders are open to EEA citizens so much more open in that respect). But back in March through May they were very relaxed and relied more on the public self policing their behavior. Bars etc were open. Hence it was pretty easy going.

        I think it’s right to think of the benefits being those associated with the delay of consequences as opposed to their avoidance. Yes medical advances reduce serious illness a bit – but I’d say those benefits are largely received by now – and there might be a vaccine that could reduce mortality. But the costs of that insurance policy seem staggering ( maybe 10-20 pct of gdp per annum?). The benefits might be undermined if the government is complacent and doesn’t use the lockdown period to adequately prepare for when restrictions are forced to ease.

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      • Kelly, I guess where we differ is around the cost of the option of deferring the consequences (or betting on the vaccine notion, not something I think prudent in isolation). If – and it is an if – the NZ govt can finally put in place a comprehensive border testing regime that, say, reduced the frequency of events like the current Akld partial lockdown to perhaps every 6 months, then I’d take some convincing that our economy would be doing worse than we would under mitigation given (and it is the key point) what the rest of the world is doing. Under mitigation we would, for example, lose the option of a “travel bubble” with Australia – most important business and holiday place. Of course, it would be different if Aus also pursued mitigation, but most Aus states seem to have as little interest at present in that option as NZ does.

        I guess predictively I suspect Matthew Hooton is right that there will be some opening up, and tolerating Covid, next year. But we might as well take a few more months and see how Europe (in particular) manages, and whether they can successively keep the R0s below 1 without new draconian restrictions.

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  6. hi Michael

    On the topic of sweden I heard the health minister and PM today trying to scare the country into compliance by quoting 6000 deaths from CV in sweden as being something shocking to be avoided.

    When you put this into perspective against the rate of 100,000 deaths in a normal year it hardly moves the dial.

    keep up the good work.

    John

    John Ashby +64 21 969030

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    • Annual total NZ deaths would be more like 35000 a year. That said, the 6000 comparison is v mischievous if they used it that way, incl because our population is half that of Sweden. But we’ve already made those savings. by past lockdowns etc, and doctors globally seem to be much better at treating Covid now, so one would have to assume that the death rate under a mitigation strategy initiated now would be quite a bit less the death rate Sweden experienced in March/April.

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      • Another interesting case is Singapore. With population similar to NZ, but immensely greater population density Singapore recorded so far almost 66000 cases but only 27 deaths. The median age is also slightly higher than in NZ being 42.2 vs. 38. So, what other factors are at play there?

        As you say, such comparisons are mischievous; we can prove or disprove virtually anything looking at absolute numbers only.

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  7. With Sweden, although they have had open borders, many other countries would not allow Swedish citizens in, due to fear of receiving COVID from Sweden.

    In NZ, we are not measuring the impacts of this crisis fully, which may lead to distorted decision making – such as ignoring other health outcomes that have become worse due to health services becoming unavailable, or people becoming isolated. I have heard of a study that was done in Aust, however they apparently included reduced road deaths in their numbers due to less people driving during lockdown, which feels a bit manipulative to me. I guess it is possible to have numbers say anything.

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  8. A good summary Michael, and it highlights the point quoted by Carlo Caduff at the PlanB symposium on Monday “”it is primarily a moral and ethical conundrum. The main reason is that there is no solution, only trade-offs. Francois Balloux.”
    Unfortunately people are far more prone to take polarised positions on the solution than to admit the conundrum.
    In terms of vaccines, Dr Byram Bridle spoke at the symposium and gave an excellent coverage of the process of vaccine development, at well as the challenges and pitfalls. He observed the current “woirld record” for development of a vaccine was 4 years, and that was an outlier. His view was that even compressing processes as far as possible (he avoided saying “taking shortcuts”) he believed there was neglible chance of a widespread vaccine within 2 years. And even then, there is a finite rate of production.. why should NZ realistically wind up at the front of the queue?
    Re treatment protocols, they have come a long way in a short time. Most importantly there are at least four low-cost, widely-used drugs which are effective against Covid – far more effective than any newcomer (eg Remdesivir). So we have certainly gained by now having access to those protocols – I struggle to believe the marginal advantage of waiting for subsequent improvements is justified. But that’s just me.

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  9. Thanks for those comments. I probably lean the other way for now, partly because I think any move towards a “mitigation” approach here would soon be followed by a panicky backlash and more costs from a renewed severe lockdown, but also because I think that – having once paid the price – we might as well now see a bit longer how the rest of the advanced world copes emerging from severe restrictions, and whether for example some of the ideas in this new Atlantic article on testing https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/how-to-test-every-american-for-covid-19-every-day/615217/?campaign_id=154&emc=edit_cb_20200818&instance_id=21398&nl=coronavirus-briefing&regi_id=45417094&segment_id=36448&te=1&user_id=a4391da9fff99aacf6c280b74d5bc5a2
    offer much promise. Realistically also, Australia matters a lot to us, and for us to move in the mitigation direction if they didn’t would close off potentially valuable economic gains (since any idea of free travel between the two countries would disappear for now).

    But it is important/valuable to tease through the issues/options,/risks/relevant considerations etc.

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    • I’d have agreed re Australia, but for their recent efforts in Melbourne. The sight of cops breaking windows and dragging people from cars for breaching curfew is repugnant, and the actions of a police state. We should be loudly decrying that type of action rather than supporting it in any way.

      Another interesting suggestion from the symposium was a traffic-light style ranking of countries risk, with borders open from low risk countries (the Cook Islands, Taiwan etc), quarantine like current (say 14 days) from medium risk, and closed borders to high risk countries.
      The irony of that at this point would be China would low risk, Australia medium risk, and UK/US high risk! I bags not being the politician that takes that strategy to a 5-Eyes meeting.. It does point out though, that our historical political alliances are constraining our choices via their incompetence, and therefore to what extent we should willing to extend beyond them.

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      • The whole Victoria curfew seems a gross abuse of the legitimate powers of the state.

        I wouldn’t have any problem with a risk-based categorisation of countries for allowing arrivals. In one small area the govt already does: aircrew from Air NZ flights to the US are subject to much more vigorous testing etc than those on the flights to HK or Sydney.

        Re your other comment, the High Court ruling looks interesting. Quite how the judges reach the view that the govt’s actions were “justified” and yet unlawful is beyond me, based on the evidence of threadbare analysis etc in the documents around decisionmaking in that period that the govt itself has released.

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      • Our Judges have been behaving as if the law created by parliament as parliament intended does not really matter. Our family court judges have poked so many holes in family trusts in the interest of biased fairness favoring women that the Family Trust law needs a total rewrite. The Kiwifruit industry won a judges incredibly stupid and biased 500 page document that made the government wholly and directly responsible for border control of keeping a virus from infecting kiwifruit.

        Now we have a soft judgement that a draconian abuse of power costing the country tens of billions was justified. However, the judgement of illegal lockdown does pave the way for class action by business for compensation.

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    • The government changed the law to make what was illegal, legal after those 9 days of illegal lockdown under draconian emergency powers. But then again every action taken by Hitler was legally lawful.

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  10. The Crown NZ Govt has clearly chosen wrongly.
    Crown NZ Govt V the people of NZ( Petition to Supreme Court)

    In the matter of the Crown’s unjustifiable and unlawful measures such as: the continued unlawful lock downs, mandatory experimental testing , the Crowns mass incarceration of people in hotels motels and facilities , the unlawful covid legislation, threat of punishments of lockup for not doing experimental testing and govt proposed forced experimentation vaccinations.

    High Court findings were incorrect the High Court case as the Crown’s ( threat levels & )unlawful lock-down was and is not justifiable as there is no proof of threat no scientific evidence of threat (from a ” new virus” ” Sars CoV2 “) or proof that this alleged virus causes a new disease( new set of symptoms)” covid”. The glaring lack of evidence ofa public health threat does not support the Crown’s unlawful actions, the new unlawful ” covid” legislation and the breaches of NZBORA.
    The Crowns measures are a public health threat and have caused an increase in suicides, mental health problems( for which locked up people have no access to needs in this regard),

    The Crown NZ Govts breaches of NZBORA on the bad advice of the public health advisor, attorney gen and a misinformed and/or ignorant health minister .

    ” Public health ” does not trump the rights of the individual in this case.
    As Govt has failed to provide both justification and proof of threat.

    1)Prove the existence of an isolated new virus( sars CoV2 ) and failed to prove
    2) That said “new virus” causes a new disease( covid) or death.
    3)That the threat to public health is a real one from the non existent new virus( sars CoV2 ) that is said to cause a new disease (covid) .
    4) Poof that ” covid” is cause of death.( *note pathologists in autopsy of ” Covid” patients in other nations… that bothered doing an autopsy needed have found this alleged molecule/virus Sars CoV2 is not to be found and so does not cause tissue death resulting in the person’s subsequent deaths ).

    Scientifically there is no poof of threat and no justification.Without poof and evidence of a public health threat that warrants the Nazi like loss of freedoms and right the Govt is actively in breach of law.

    Notice .
    Until it has evidence of threat ( justification)from an as yet not isolated molecule capable or transmission and causing disease( covid) Govt should cease and desist its Nazi like unlawful measures.

    No Justified limitations

    Subject to section 4, the rights and freedoms contained in this Bill of Rights may be subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
    Clear justification would mean there must be a reasonable objective to (our past and present loss of freedom of movement and association or) compulsory vaccination that justifies the limits placed on the right to refuse medical treatment.
    No scientific evidence of the existence of a new virus (Sars COV2). Said virus was computer generated not isolated on 10th Jan 2020. They used both human dna taken on 26th Dec 2019 and bovine fetal dna to generate the string of rna they then called Sars Cov2 .
    or proof that it( Sars CoV2 ) alone causes a new disease( covid)) evidence of new disease( not one with same set of flu symptoms so it is not justified.
    They used evidence based strategies( home detention , social distancing, masks none have evidence to support the restrictions in fact public health worsened during download increased domestic violence ,increased mental health problems , suicides and untreated real health problems)

    Government would have to present clear justifications for any restrictions and it has failed to.

    Unlawful mandatory RT PCR tests.

    The RT PCR test is experimental in its use for diagnosing disease and it is unable to prove infection.Ordinarily test-performance studies entail having patients undergo an index test and a “reference standard” test determining their true state. The PCR test results are not validated under realistic conditions against a clinically meaningful reference standard.
    The RT PCR test was never suppose to be used to diagnose disease.It just amplify a small set of nucleic acids( coronavirus which in the study of human virome has been found up the nose of healthy people and so was not seen by virologists as a pathogen) The RT PCR test fails to provide proof of the existences of a whole, live or transmittable ” virus” or of an infection.
    Yet people are being diagnosed in this experimental way.This would appear to put the RT PCR test that is being used by Crown govt to prove infection and disease (when it cannot and has never been used for that before ) into the category of ‘medical or scientific experimentation’, which the Bill of Rights Act (s10), as well as international law, recognises as something which must not be inflicted on people without their consent.”

    Vaccinations:Everyone has the right not to be subjected to medical experimentation without free consent. [t]he potential vaccines, especially RNA vaccines… are necessarily ‘experimental’ in nature… This would appear to put such vaccines into the category of ‘medical or scientific experimentation’
    “The specific reference to medical experimentation is a response to what happened under the Nazi regime during the second world war.
    In New Zealand, the courts and their English predecessors have long recognized and protected the right to bodily integrity. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 also clearly states that everyone has the right to refuse medical treatment.”

    The Govts issued threat to public health without evidence of a live whole transmissible virus and proof it causes disease covid and death is legally invalid and is not justification .
    The RT PCR test is purely experimental when it is being used to diagnose disease /infection.

    Plaintiff
    The people of NZ who have had their inherent freedoms and rights taken off them by a despotic regime .

    Like

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