Murray Bolton: MBIE told by High Court to reconsider Kiwi rich-lister's home isolation application

Murray Bolton.
Murray Bolton. Photo credit: Getty Images

New Zealand businessman Murray Bolton will have an application to isolate at home upon returning from the US reconsidered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

A High Court Judge has directed the respondents of Bolton's case, MBIE's chief executive, the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield and the COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, to reconsider his request for a managed isolation (MIQ) exemption.

"In that reconsideration, the respondents are expressly required to consider, amongst other relevant considerations: the need for Mr Bolton to attend the board meeting in Boston... the need of the applicants to enjoy rights conferred by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, including the right to freedom of movement and as citizens to enter New Zealand without unreasonable limitation; and the need of the applicants to avoid the risk of contracting COVID-19 at an MIQ facility, including in view of any characteristics that may make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19, including age," Justice Geoffrey Venning said in his decision.

Earlier this week, Bolton took the matter to the High Court after his application was declined on October 17.

Bolton, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, wanted to travel to the US in a private jet for business matters and self-isolate in his gated Auckland home upon return - promising to take coronavirus tests where necessary.

The court said in its decision that the Government, in its reconsideration, must weigh up the degree of risk to the community.

In making a decision about whether Bolton can bypass MIQ and isolate at home, the Government must take into account "the precautions the applicants may propose to take or other conditions that may be imposed on them... their vaccination status; and the prevailing circumstances within the community at the present time", Justice Venning said.