Hearing update and more crowdfunding needed to bring this important case14 December 2021
Kia ora koutou
Many of you have been asking for an update on the case, and whether it will still be going ahead with the recent Government announcements. The short answer is YES - we are doing everything we can to ensure that the case proceeds, and that we keep our hearing date of 25-26 January 2022… more on this below.
As many of you are aware, we announced in early October that Grounded Kiwis Group Incorporated was bringing judicial review proceedings to challenge the Government’s operation of MIQ. This case has received considerable publicity in the press, and is the first systemic challenge of the MIQ system as a whole (i.e. instead of a challenge involving an individual’s particular circumstances). Since filing the case, the Government has announced its new self- isolation policy, and we believe that the case helped get us to this point. But the new policy is not yet in effect, and the Government has indicated that the Omicron variant might result in the proposed changes being revisited. Therefore, the need for oversight of Government policy and action is just as strong today as before.
When we initiated the claim, we sought $70,000 in funding based on estimates provided by counsel, and we were overwhelmed by the response, raising $72,810 in less than 24 hours. It is clear that the Government is taking the case very seriously indeed and as a result, there have been a number of hurdles along the way, which have required us to put in considerably more legal work than originally anticipated. We cannot share exact details due to the ongoing nature of the case but can confirm that much of this work is related to the sheer volume of evidence, the recent announcements, and endeavouring to maintain our urgent hearing date of 25-26 January 2022.
While some of that work has been done on a voluntary basis by committed Grounded Kiwis volunteers, we rely heavily on the work and astute insights and analysis of our barristers, Paul Radich QC and Lucila van Dam, who are investing considerably more time in managing this case than initially envisaged. All the lawyers involved are working hard – and putting in long hours – to see this landmark case brought to a hearing. We are also grateful to all those Grounded Kiwis members and others who provided affidavits for the case.
During our initial fundraising effort, we indicated that there was a possibility that we would need to raise more funds as the case proceeded. We have exhausted all of our initial funds and are now reopening our crowdfunding to raise a further $100,000 to bring the case to a hearing.
We need your help, and the help of our Grounded Kiwis community: those stuck in New Zealand with family overseas, those stuck overseas who cannot get home, those now home who had to jump through hoops to get there, and others who believe in our cause.
Before the pandemic, it was unthinkable that a New Zealand Government would ever make it so difficult for Kiwis and permanent residents to return to their land and their whānau. But it happened, and we believe that the Government’s actions must be reviewed by the High Court.
Whatever you are able to give would be immensely appreciated. Any excess funding will be donated to the Mental Health Foundation, Lifeline or other similar charities supporting the mental health of New Zealanders. As no refunds are available, please only give what you are comfortable contributing.
We are currently exploring the possibility of live-streaming the hearing so Grounded Kiwis can watch from afar. We are not yet sure if this will be possible, but watch this space. For those who are in Wellington, we will be providing details soon about how you can attend the hearing in person.
Ngā mihi maioha
I was wondering what your position on vax/unvax is in relation to the case? I'm not an anti-vaxer but believe everyone should have the choice whether or not to get it.