To me that view is abhorrent, as I could have very easily seen if Parliament had spent two weeks drafting and debating the necessary law changes this country would be following the trajectory many other western 1st world countries are following now.
This sort of stuff can be done under urgency. In fact, given some of the cynical reasons for urgency in the last twenty years, this is pretty much the exact thing urgency could and should be used for.
I think the legality is important given the over-arching effect of the lockdown on many things we acknowledge as being basic human rights. I know you can legislate over the top of BORA but if we get to a stage where Governments don't even need to use laws to set these things aside then we are setting ourselves up for a massive potential abuse of power without any real consequence. And personally, I believe Governments of any kind shouldn't get to pick and choose what rules they follow.
However, I'd rather see the whole-of-government response dealt with at a Royal Commission level, given the scale of the response and the impact. Makes no sense to have a dozen different ministries all trying to decide what could have been done better when they're all linked.
So do you think National and ACT were working in a constructive way focused on the best outcome for the whole country prior to the 19th of March?
Strawmanning your argument I could easily see the following happening:
Labour/Greens/NZF introduce legislation on the 12rd of March or earlier saying we need to lockdown for four weeks either very soon or when a certain threshold is reached. National significantly push back saying it is over-reach and will hurt the economy, huge uproar including protests encouraged by the media and certain outlets. Then since the National base start off annoyed there is far less compliance and we have more Matamata or Invercargill wedding clusters.
Can you not easily see that happening? As I could.
Watch the RNZ interview... this would have been very common across NZ:
This situation IMHO it was far more prudent to ask for forgiveness than permission as the whole National front bench were in general behaving terribly.