Parliament

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

 

Bill Undermines Freedom Of Association

Transnational Crime Bill Undermines Freedom Of Association

Green MP Keith Locke is concerned that the Transnational Organised Crime Bill could lead to New Zealanders being found 'guilty by association' through membership of a gang.

"People could be convicted when the don't actually participate in any of the gang's criminal activities," said Mr Locke, Green member on the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, which reported the bill back to Parliament yesterday.

"The bill has transformed the treatment of gangs in the Crimes Act. Previously gang members could only be convicted if they 'intentionally promoted' the gang's crimes. Now they only have to be 'reckless' as to whether their 'participation' in the gang 'may contribute to the occurrence of criminal activity.'

"This is going down a very dangerous path of guilt by association," said Mr Locke.

"The main purpose of the bill is to deal with 'people smuggling.' Even here the definition of the smuggling crime is too loose. Airlines who inadvertently let an illegal migrant on a plane could be up for a $500,000 fine for being 'reckless' in their checks. The law could also catch-out good samaritans, like Raoul Wallenberg in the Second World War, who helped refugees escape Nazi-occupied Europe.

Mr Locke said there were also good clauses in the bill, such as those combating the trafficking of workers, which will help stop mainly-Asian workers being brought here illegally and forced to work in sweat shops and massage parlours.

"One very good change in the bill was the removal of the obligation on employers to determine the immigration status of their workers. This would have caused widespread discrimination as employers took the easy course and signed up only those who looked like New Zealanders and had good Kiwi accents. The responsibility will now be on workers to tick a box on their IRD form, saying they are here legally," said Mr Locke.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election