The full extent of human rights New Zealanders gave up during lockdown and alert level 3 have been revealed.
Included among the Government's dump of hundreds of documents, was the implementation of moving down alert levels and the Solicitor-General's advice on the legality of the nationwide quarantine order.
The paper said the lockdown and alert level 3 had "the most significant impact on human rights in living memory".
Several of the measures imposed raised "significant human rights issues".
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Some of the human rights Kiwis gave up included:
• Restrictions on gatherings limiting the right to manifest religion in worship, observance, practice or teaching
• Restrictions on gatherings limited the right to peaceful assembly
• Travel restrictions and "the nationwide enforced quarantine order" which limited freedoms to swim, surf, hunt, tramp limited the right of freedom of movement
• All measures had the potential to limit the right to be free from discrimination due to the disproportionate impact on people of faith, Māori, Pacific people, older people, those with disabilities and women
• Restrictions on gatherings could limit the rights of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities to enjoy their culture, religious practice or language
Kiwis also gave up some international human rights, including:
• the right to work,
• the right to the highest standard of physical and mental health
• the right to education
The border quarantine could also amount to "arbitrary detention" under the Bill of Rights Act (BORA).
Also included in the paper was the general advice the Solicitor-General provided on human rights issues stemming from the nationwide quarantine order and the restrictions at the border.
On the lockdown, she advised the lockdown order would "probably not" breach rights in the BORA if voluntary compliance wasn't sufficient.
And on the quarantine at the border, earlier rules to self-isolate at home didn't mean "complete control over the pathway through which Covid-19 cases have emerged" didn't fully or adequately stop the spread of the virus.
The paper said: "Giving weight to the director general's expert assessment as to what is necessary to protect public health in the current circumstances, she concluded that a direction for quarantine within managed facilities could lawfully be made.
"She was also satisfied that the provisions for compulsory medical examination would authorise reasonable searches, so would not constitute a breach of section 21 of BORA (right to be free from unreasonable searches)."
The paper said it did not seek decisions which could impact human rights but said a decision to maintain or amend alert level conditions, or to step up or step down alert levels would "have significant human right impacts".
"A downward movement in alert level is generally expected to create a more rights-consistent environment in New Zealand."
On April 15, Cabinet noted the human rights implications were significant and the measures would be subject to regular review "including scrutiny by the Solicitor-General".