Great powers, great responsibilities: Balancing competing rights in the age of Covid-19

Weiyi Zhang, Senior Office of the Auditor-General Policy Advisor has posted about the discussion at the 12 May 2022 Transparency International New Zealand Leaders Forum.

With individual rights limited to an unprecedented degree – from the Level 4 lockdowns of the past to the “traffic light” restrictions of today – now is a ripe time to reflect on how we can address the “wicked problem” of balancing different and competing rights.

One key takeaway message raised by speaker Professor Geddis which the Office of the Auditor-General strives to reinforce is: “decisions are much easier for the public to understand, and accept, if their inner workings and reasonings are made transparent.” This is one way through which decision-makers can act with integrity when faced with the difficult task of balancing different, and competing, human rights for the well-being and future of New Zealand.

The complete recap is available on the OAG website blog. (

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