Surely one of the most compelling things we've seen this week is the court decision around Oliver Christiansen.

He travelled halfway around the world to see his dying father. He wasn't allowed to, until a court overruled the cartel currently running this country. We have 24 cases, no exemptions.

The beauty of the court decision was it was able to do what so many of us haven't: truly hold this lot to account. They were made to act, to change their minds, and made to review their procedures.

It'll be fascinating to see once they do that, just how much their approach will change. How many of those 24 originally turned down would have, or will have, the chance to do what they were initially denied?


It brings into sharp focus the Winston Peters comments of last week, the advice from the Ministry of Health to lock New Zealanders out of New Zealand. It shows a blind obsession with health outcomes and literally nothing else.

As we told you at the time, the advice, although free and fair and the sort of thing departments do all the time, was never, could never be acted upon because of immigration law and a United Nations Convention we've signed up to, making it illegal to leave people stateless.

This, of course, is of no concern to the ministry. But are we not in seeing this advice and witnessing their actions around the 24 cases, a department that has basically hijacked this whole mess, and turned it into their own experiment? The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

And it's endorsed, tragically, by a Prime Minister short on real world experience. She's so desperate for a safe harbour of perceived wisdom and experience, and as a result a convert to what is turning out to be an economic catastrophe, masquerading as a health victory.

Ashley Bloomfield, the man responsible for the approach as director general of health, is answerable to really no one, so has got away with it, given his calm demeanor and good general knowledge. But he's been badly exposed by a court who has seen what most of us could see, but didn't have the judicial authority to fix.

What makes this really ugly is we have a Prime Minister who has coated herself with the varnish of humanity. Being kind is what she is, and what she does. But having told us 18 of the 24 cases had been given exemptions was, she was embarrassingly and yet again, let down by the ministry when it turned out the reality wasn't 18, it was zero.

The woman who put teddies in windows and made the tooth fairy an essential worker, stands beside and behind a ministry that turns out to be heartless, cold and driven by little more than statistics.


Her saving grace was heart. The magnet for the apparatchiks was kindness.

And yet 24 people will tell you a whole other story. A story we would never known about it, if it hadn't been for Oliver Christiansen and his three attempts to see his dying father.