27 Apr 2022

Grounded Kiwis wins High Court challenge over MIQ

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 27 April 2022

'Not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society'. Grounded Kiwis has won its High Court challenge against the Minister of Health after claiming the MIQ lottery system failed New Zealanders living overseas by refusing them the right to return home freely.

In a 140-page judgment released this afternoon, Justice Mallon said the MIQ lobby did not allow personal circumstances to be considered or prioritised.

She said whilst the system, which operated for 22 months from April 2020, was a critical component of the government's elimination strategy and positive health outcomes, the virtual lobby and narrow emergency criteria meant the rights of kiwis to return freely was infringed.

Grounded Kiwis spokesperson Martin Newell says the group is thrilled with the High Court decision that the MIQ lottery system was "not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society".

"This case was never about challenging the legality of MIQ itself," he told Checkpoint.

"We recognise that MIQ was a tool that supported New Zealand's elimination strategy, which we also never challenged. It was about creating a system that was fair and enabled people to come home if they needed to. And that's what the judge has recognised in her decision today."