Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Cam Slater: Bet You We Never Hear an Apology

The Government has copped another flogging over their cruel MIQ lottery system: this time from the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier. You may remember earlier that Grounded Kiwis won a substantial case against the Government over the same system.

The Chief Ombudsman says the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment acted “unreasonably” in its advice to ministers over the managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) voucher allocation system.

“We ended up with a lottery – a system that did not fully allow for the consideration and prioritisation of individual circumstances of people trying to come home during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Peter Boshier said on Monday.

Boshier said the MIQ system caused “a huge amount of stress and frustration” to New Zealanders trying to enter the country and advice given to ministers “failed to put enough emphasis on people’s individual circumstances”.

While the lobby and voucher system put aside spaces in MIQ for people in special circumstances, this didn’t cater for many Kiwis with a “genuine or urgent need to travel, nor those experiencing delays in returning to New Zealand”.

The system also failed to fully ensure there was a way for disabled people to independently apply for vouchers, Boshier said, and MBIE acted “unreasonably” by failing to undertake “an analysis under Te Tiriti o Waitangi when developing its online allocation, and by not consulting with Maori sooner”.

“While ministers made the final decisions on the shape of the system, I would have expected MBIE’s officials to provide free and frank, clear and sound advice and recommendations on the fairest options that considered the impact it would have on people,” he said.

“This would have allowed decisions to be made, not just with reason, but with sympathy and honour.”

He wants these issues addressed in the design of any future national quarantine system.

“Key decisions about the allocation system were made by government ministers and I do not have jurisdiction under the Ombudsmen Act to recommend they apologise”, Boshier said.

They’ll never apologise anyway; they think they are infallible and everything they do is coated in fairy dust and crap rainbows.

‘Be Kind’ was only ever a slogan, especially when you consider their real-world actions that saw divisive mandates, forced vaccinations, job losses, business collapses and careers ended. This Labour Government was never kind: they acted cruelly every time, for which they have never apologised.

Unless and until they do apologise, this will continue to fester and we can’t even begin to forgive those who persecuted and attacked us for daring to believe in bodily autonomy. My body my choice is fine to justify abortion, but it was ignored when it came to vaccinations using unproven medicines.

Will I ever forgive them? Perhaps not. I certainly won’t forget what was done to us. I most certainly won’t move on, as that just lets them off the hook.

My old grandmother used to say, “Forgive and remember.” She was a wise woman, but then again she never went through what we did. So, sorry to Grandma, but I won’t be forgiving them anytime soon.

For this Government, however, sorry seems to be the hardest word.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE

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