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David Shearer: GCSB Amendment Bill

David Shearer: GCSB Amendment Bill

David Shearer's weekly pre-caucus press conference - 25 June 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

Labour leader David Shearer continued to call for an inquiry into the role of the Government Communications Security Bureau at his weekly pre-caucus press conference this morning, and said Prime Minister John Key did not have enough cross-party support to see the GCSB amendment bill through.

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Mr Shearer began the press conference by denying an accusation from Mr Key that he had been told not to support the GCSB amendment bill by Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson.

Mr Shearer said that the reason Mr Key had said this was because he was trying to draw attention away from the fact that he did not have enough cross-party support to see the legislation pass.

Labour wanted an inquiry into the role of GCSB, and would support legislation that came out as a result of such an inquiry, he said

“This is about him [Mr Key] avoiding embarrassment from Dotcom and from illegal spying. He has picked up this legislation and he is pushing it through in a hurry, when he actually needs to do is what other countries have done and step back and have a full independent assessment of what we need and then build legislation from there.”

Mr Shearer said New Zealand's Five Eyes partners all had independent internal and external intelligence operations, and an inquiry would give guidance about how New Zealand should position its own agencies.

The government was already looking to bring SIS and the GCSB closer together, and the GCSB amendment bill would allow this to happen more easily, he said.

Mr Shearer also answered questions about the upcoming Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election and the behavior of fellow Labour MPs Phil Goff and Trevor Mallard at a recent select committee hearing.

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ENDS

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