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


Terror bill undermines civil liberties, warn Green

Terror bill undermines civil liberties, warn Greens

The Green Party is warning that New Zealanders' rights to protest and to strike could be threatened by provisions contained in the Counter-Terrorism Bill, which was reported back to Parliament today.

"We shouldn't give the police the extra powers contained in the bill, or expand the Crimes Act to enable advocates of non-violent protest to be jailed," said Keith Locke, the Green Human Rights spokesperson.

"Amendments to criminal legislation, with no particular reference to terrorism, are being smuggled in under the guise of what is misleadingly called a 'Counter-Terrorism' bill."

Mr Locke warned that three of the bill's provisions, amending the Crimes Act, Summary Proceedings Act and Misuse of Drugs Act, are particularly intrusive.

"Police will now have a generalised power, under warrant, to put tracking devices on people.

"When searching premises police will be able to demand computer passwords and encryption devices, even though this breaches a person's right to avoid self-incrimination.

"Also, police 'fishing expeditions' are made easier because they will be able to use interception warrants issued for one purpose to be used to look for evidence on a whole range of crimes."

"Anti-GE protesters could be the first target of another Crimes Act amendment, prescribing up to seven years jail for anyone threatening actions causing 'major economic loss to one or more persons'," Keith Locke pointed out. "Strikes could also be inhibited by this provision.

"Even though the legislation says a strike or a protest 'by itself' is not a crime, it's clear that an intention to damage a GE crop or bring a worksite to a standstill could still put you foul of the law.

"Another part of the bill amends the Terrorism Suppression Act.

"While the Green Party supports compliance with international conventions on the misuse of nuclear materials and plastic explosives, there is an intrinsic problem in the original Act's overly broad definition of terrorism that places innocent protesters or international solidarity activists at risk. The process of designating who is a terrorist is still too politicised and secretive," said Mr Locke.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news