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Guest Opinion: NZ & The World Police State

New Zealand looking to join the ranks of the World Police State

Guest Opinion from Anton Hughes

New Zealand - Assistant Commissioner Jon White, New Zealand's top counter-terror policeman has come out saying New Zealanders may need to debate at some stage the balance between lost personal freedoms and a more secure nation1 [1] . White seems to have forgotten that, according to George Bush, the terrorists attack because they “hate our freedom”. White also seems to have forgotten that the role of the police is to protect the people, this includes protecting their liberties.

Unlike the United Sates and the United Kingdom, New Zealand does not have a lengthy history of being attacked by terrorists or of being involved in state sponsored terrorism. Perhaps the only terrorist event in New Zealand's history is the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. The very real and growing threat to the New Zealanders appears to be the from the Police. Recently the New Zealand police revealed that the are to test 50,000 volt stun guns, similar the the weapons that have been used to assault countless americans for such acts as refusing to get out of their car, refusing to give a urine sample, used on children ages 6-132[2] , – the 'non-lethal' Tasers have also resulted in numerous deaths across the United States.

Recently in New Zealand there have been several incidents which show the Police are just as capable of criminal activities as non-police. For example a Manukau police constable gave away methamphetamine seized in a drugs bust3[3] , 328 police officers -- including 50 senior staff -- were under investigation following the discovery of around 5000 sexually explicit images stored in the computer system4[4] , high-ranking officer charged with the rape5[5] , and the fatal shotting of Waitara man Steven Wallace by Police for smashing windows.

While all police are capable of abusing their role very few do – the majority of police are law abiding members of society. Still, the risk of abuse is very real and while there are legal methods of achieving justice such as law suits against Police officers who are found to abusing their positions, there are very few ways to prevent abuses from occurring.

White goes on to say "The legislation that is being looked at in the UK and Australia is being followed very keenly here." Does this legislation include the 'shot to kill' policy which has been in the media spotlight lately due to murder of an innocent man on the London subway. Not only did the UK police, probably with the assistance of the UK military, kill Jean Charles de Menezes, but it has recently been revealed by ITV that they blatantly lied about the events of this murder6[6] . Or is White referring to random bag searches – where everybody is regarded as a suspect, except the police.

Since September 11 New Zealand has followed the US and UK in introduced several anti-terrorism laws while New Zealand has had only one major terrorist attack. Some of these laws include banning the financing of terrorist groups, yet the New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark recently dined with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, who's ISI, the Pakistani secret service, was found to have wired $100,000 to Mohammed Atta prior to the 9/11 attacks7[7] . So while our government dines with foreign governments involved in terrorist funding the public of New Zealand is beginning to feel what it is like to be treated like a terrorist suspect. And New Zealand's “top” counter-terrorist police officer seems appears to be willing to give in to the terrorists by saying that the public should be prepared to give up their freedom – remembering that Bush believes that the terrorists hate our freedom.

- Anton Hughes

2See and

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