Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Search Bill Progresses – No Agreement on SFO

Debate over the Search and Surveillance Bill continued on Tuesday night, but Labour and National were unable to reach agreement on the controversial bill.

The bill arose out of a 2007 Law Commission report that said legislation relating to the search and surveillance powers of authorities was in need of an overhaul.

A bill introduced in 2008 was discharged and in 2009 another bill (though identical in content) was introduced, but made slow progress.

Then in August 2011 the Supreme Court ruled the police had illegally used hidden cameras to gather evidence in the Operation 8 case which centred around the 2007 Urewera raids.

Following this National and Labour could not agree on a permanent legislative response and instead agreed on an interim law which the Government said was necessary to ensure ongoing police investigations could continue.

This law expires in April and the House debated today the bill which replaces that legislation as well as covering wider issues.

Labour’s Charles Chauvel said tonight the Government had moved to meet some of his party’s concerns, but not enough for it support the bill.

Chauvel said bill as it was reported from select committee would have allowed the police to get a warrant and seize material from the media and the media could then apply to a district court judge to protect their sources.

Chauvel said the Government was now moving amendments that the material seized by police would now be held by the courts until a High Court Judge decided whether a journalist’s source should be protected.

Journalistic privilege was better protected, but Labour was not happy that the Serious Fraud Office were not covered, he said.

David Parker underlined Labour’s concerns that the SFO did not have to get a warrant from the courts to search and seize documents and said they would continue to oppose the bill

Justice Minister Judith Collins said she welcomed Labour’s input and attempt to reach agreement.

She said fears that police could release information seized in searches on media were incorrect and they could not compel a journalist to tell them their source unless a judge ordered them to do so.

Collins said the non-inclusion of the Serious Fraud Office was because it had never been part of the bill as it was drafted when the last Labour Government had been planning to disband the SFO.


The chain of events had meant that it was not possible to include the SFO in the bill at this stage without the issue going before a select committee.

The SFO law had been in place for many years and the issue of the SFO demanding papers off the media had only come up once (with the National Business Review last year).

The SFO’s production examination powers were ``fairly refined’’ and did not apply to the general public as police warrants did, she said.

Labour’s Lianne Dalziel said the SFO regularly used its powers and they should be some oversight of them.

Despite Labour’s disapproval National will pass the bill with support from ACT and United Future.

The bill completed its committee stage by 61 to 59 with National, ACT and United Future supporting and was reported with amendment.

MPs began the second reading debate on the stage of the Regulatory Reform Bill and Regulatory Reform (Repeals) Bill.


**
ParliamentToday.co.nz is a breaking news source for New Zealand parliamentary business featuring broadcast daily news reports.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Latest Allegations Against Helen Clark

According to former PM and UNDP leader current Helen Clark, the allegations leveled at her this week in a Foreign Policy magazine article by the prize-winning UN journalist Colum Lynch have been ‘totally fabricated’. Hmmm. That would be very, very surprising. More>>

Letter From The Editor: The State Of Scoop

Gordon Campbell: The PledgeMe campaign currently being run by the Scoop Foundation does provide a useful opportunity to update you on what gets done with your money. Further down the track, other documents will set out what we plan to do, resources permitting. For now, lets stick with the practical nuts and bolts. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of The Far Right (And Battle Bots)

In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach [pictued] warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a welfare bureaucracy that systematically denies assistance to those in most need. More>>

Julienne Molineaux: Stuff-Me - The Newspaper Gobble-Up

In New Zealand, concentration of newspaper ownership via mergers and acquisitions has a long pre-digital history. The trends of declining readership and fragmented audiences began before digital content, and mergers and acquisitions proceeded apace, enabled by weak legislative protections. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Foundation Membership Drive:

The Scoop Foundation: The best chance to create an independent guardian for public interest journalism in NZ

The Scoop Foundation is seeking public support to safeguard the future of public interest journalism in New Zealand. To ensure public access to comprehensive, free, timely news is maintained during this dark hour for journalism. And to provide every voice in NZ the opportunity to be heard in the national debate. More>>
PLEDGE NOW: Journalism: A New Model - The 2016 Scoop Foundation Membership Drive

Scoop Foundation Timeline:

Gordon Campbell: On Trump And The Madman Theory

Years ago, Richard Nixon explained to his chief adviser Bob Haldeman what has since become known as the “Madman Theory” of foreign policy. Basically, if America’s rivals could be reminded that Nixon was an unstable, rabid anti-Communist with his finger on the nuclear trigger, Nixon reasoned, then maybe they’d be less willing to challenge the US in the world’s hot spots… More>>

Australia And The South China Sea: Another Foreign Policy Blunder Looming

James O’Neill: The overblown rhetoric from the United States has led at least one commentator to describe so-called ‘analyses’ of the South China Sea situation as “the biggest load of analytical rubbish about South East Asia to emerge since the CIA mistook bee feces for a Soviet-supplied biological weapon in 1981.” More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news