A second legal challenge against New Zealand's Covid-19 lockdown has been dismissed.
High Court Justice Mary Peters has ruled that the Government acted legally in requiring New Zealanders to stay in their homes during the lockdown, allowing exceptions such as going out for exercise or going to the supermarket.
She rejected a claim brought for habeas corpus, a 900-year-old legal procedure challenging detention without justification.
The claims were brought by two men who know each other who have both applied for name suppression. The first man said he had received death threats after publication of his name "in connection with other legal proceedings", and the second man said he had received death threats after becoming associated with the first man.
The judge refused to grant permanent name suppression in both cases, but both men have appealed against this so their names remain suppressed until their appeals are heard.
Both claims were brought against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Civil Defence Director Sarah Stuart-Black.
The second man argued that the lockdown subjected him to "detention" within the meaning of the Habeas Corpus Act 2001. He challenged the legality of the detention and sought a writ of habeas corpus for himself and his "fellow bubble members".
However the judge found that the lockdown did not amount to "detention" because the man "may leave his home for essential personal movement, he is not required to seek permission to do so or inform anyone in advance, and he may do so whenever he wishes and for as long as he wishes".
"He may also use the telephone or internet, and communicate with others as he sees fit. His movements are not monitored in any way, as they might be on electronically monitored bail or a sentence of home detention," she said.
"These freedoms are inconsistent with the concept of detention."
The judge also accepted submissions from Crown lawyer A M Powell that Bloomfield made the lockdown order lawfully under Health Act provisions for controlling infectious diseases.
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The man argued that Ardern "had sufficient powers at her disposal to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic without resorting to the making of the order".
But the judge said that argument was irrelevant to a claim of habeas corpus.
"The appropriate procedure for [the man] to follow is an application for judicial review," she said.
• Lockdown rules: covid19.govt.nz.