Brian Tamaki
The Freedoms & Rights Coalition Team

Yesterday, I had a visit from two officers from the New Zealand Police at my home informing me that I was to be charged with two offences under the ever-changing laws passed by the government now known as the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 12). I am charged on the basis that I organised a gathering in an outdoor place during Alert Level 3.

I am prepared to stand up and be heard when I see injustice and suffering. I am certainly not afraid to do so on any occasion, let alone at this vital time. I will defend my involvement and my right to do so. My community, my people, are too important for me to ignore the pain being caused by the government’s current policies.

I intend to defend these charges as I believe what took place, including my involvement, was lawful, peaceful, and consistent with everyone’s right to freedom of protest.

I stood on Saturday to defend the rights of all New Zealanders. The Lockdowns and current levels are damaging our people, and it cannot continue. I cannot stand by quietly and let it happen.

It will be a sad day if simply speaking up against what is wrong is unlawful and someone can be convicted for standing up for what they think is important. Surely, we all agree with that, whether you agree with my views or the many thousands of ordinary New Zealanders who also agree with me on the important issues that I have spoken of.

There is a need to speak out and challenge the action taken by government when you consider it to be ill-conceived, or worse as here, causing serious personal and financial harm to many of our citizens and businesses.

I am surprised with these charges given that I had been open and worked collaboratively with the New Zealand Police before the event.

I understood from the Police that they agreed in principle that everyone has a lawful right to peacefully protest protected by the New
Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, and they would assist us to ensure this happened safely.

We also worked collaboratively with the local Police throughout Saturday’s event, and they raised no issues or concerns with us on the day. This was and is important to me.

It is disappointing to see the New Zealand Police now take this action. They have in my view reluctantly buckled to perceived public pressure. That itself has been driven by the media who should themselves be holding the government to account.

Instead, as we can see, the media seek only to villainise the genuine efforts of others to raise and prevent the current suffering of our people.

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Press Release

This article is a press release that has been published in full and un-edited by The BFD.