Questions about roadblock safety, openness and accountability
Section 22 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Act (No 2) 2021, that became law on November 19, gives the Police Commissioner the power to appoint a Maori warden, a nominated representative of an iwi organisation, a Pasifika warden, or a community patroller to monitor Covid-19 compliance.
Police should publish the selection process used to appoint non-Police personnel to enforce compliance with Covid-19 regulations at roadblocks. The location of all road blockade sites should continue to be published each day along with a full statement of what Police supervision means at such Covid-19 roadblocks including all policy and training manuals for Police and all Police training records.
The public should also be provided with answers to the following questions:
Have the Police conducted criminal background checks on non-Police personnel manning the checkpoints?
What is Police policy when convicted criminals are to be included in these blockades?
Can the Government guarantee that non-Police blockade members are double-vaccinated and have had public health and safety training, including training in the use of Covid-19 protective gear, and in the legally required traffic management skills?
What steps can members of the public undertake in self-defence or otherwise when not feeling safe at blockades manned by non-Police personnel?
What will the Police do to prevent the exposure of the travelling public to Covid-infected non-Police road blockaders?