Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


$19,000 Spooks PR Effort A Waste Of Good Trees

23 May 2001

Government wastes $19,000 on PR exercise to justify spooks

The Green Party has criticised the Government for spending over $19,000 on the “Securing our Nation’s Safety” publication in order to justify increasing State surveillance of New Zealanders’ private lives and business activities.

In reply to a written question from Rod Donald, Prime Minister Helen Clark said the publication cost $18,938 to produce the 2000 copies of the 44 page booklet and $530 to distribute them.

“’Securing Our Nation’s Safety’ is a cynical public relations exercise to justify extending the tentacles of the surveillance state even further into our personal lives and business activities,” said Green MP Rod Donald.

“It’s doubly insulting that we had to pay for the Government’s propaganda out of our taxes.

“While the booklet contains some interesting information it reveals far less about the activities of the Government security by agencies than Nicky Hager’s book, ‘Secret Power’.

“If the Government genuinely wanted to inform New Zealanders about what organisations like the SIS and the GCSB get up to then they should have given the money to Nicky Hager or Anti Bases Coalition researcher Murray Horton to produce a far more comprehensive, truthful and compelling analysis of the roles, responsibilities and relevance of the SIS and the GCSB.

“Instead our taxes have been spent on former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer waxing lyrical about Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and John Le Carre in one breath and then in the next claiming ‘there are also isolated extremists in New Zealand who advocate using violence to impress on others their own political, ethnic or religious viewpoints.’ without providing any evidence that this is the case.

“If Palmer’s statement is true then surely these extremists as well as ‘individuals and groups in New Zealand with links to overseas organisations that are committed to acts of terrorism, violence and intimidation’ which he also refers to would have been arrested and prosecuted rather than left to roam free?

“As a Member of Parliament the greatest insult of all is the claim that parliament is supreme in terms of security and intelligent matters. The truth is quite the opposite. Parliament gave away its powers to scrutinise the spy agencies when it established the Intelligence and Security Committee under statute.

“The publication is equally insulting to the likes of anti free trade activist Aziz Choudry whose case against the Government following the SIS’s bungled break in of his home was highlighted by Palmer as an example of the legal protection afforded to citizens who believe they have been wronged.

“All in all the publication is a waste of good trees. The truth about the Spooks is still hiding in the woods,” Rod Donald said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election