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


Act boosts government's fight against terrorism

Act boosts government's fight against terrorism

Passage of the Counter Terrorism Act gives New Zealand the ability to comprehensively deal with terrorist activities and threats, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

"The recent commemoration of last year’s Bali bombing was a tragic reminder of the on-going threat to the safety and security of New Zealanders posed by international terrorism," Mr Goff said.

"This Act reflects New Zealand’s need to comply with international obligations and to be able to effectively investigate, detect, and prosecute terrorist activity.

"Terrorism does not always come in the form of a bomb or a gun. The deliberate introduction of disease such as foot and mouth would be catastrophic for New Zealand. Instilling widespread fear in a community is also a form of terrorism.

"This Act creates new offences to deal with such threats, and gives Police and Customs the power to investigate and prosecute those offences. It also makes us fully compliant with our UN obligations.

"The new offences include improperly dealing with nuclear or radioactive material or unmarked plastic explosives; contaminating food, water or other products intended for human consumption; infecting animals with the intention of causing serious harm to animal populations and damage to the national economy; harbouring or concealing a terrorist; threatening major harm to persons, property or the national economy; or making malicious hoaxes.

The new offences carry penalties of up to 10 years' jail and a $500,000 fine. Terrorism will also be treated an aggravating factor at sentencing, and therefore attract harsher penalties.

Mr Goff said the Act contained provisions that were not terrorism-specific. They related to the use of tracking devices, a computer access requirement, and the admissibility of evidence obtained under an interception warrant.

"Terrorism should be dealt under general criminal law wherever possible because terrorist acts are usually criminal offences committed with an ideological, political, or religious motive.

"The use of tracking devices under the Act, where a breach of the law is needed to put them in place, will be limited to Police and Customs. Safeguards include the need for a judicial warrant requirement in all but emergency situations, and requirements to report on the extent to which such devices are used.

"Evidence of serious criminal offending lawfully obtained by an interception warrant will be admissible, even if the warrant was issued in relation to a different offence.

"Police will also have the power to require assistance from a person where necessary, such as providing passwords to access computers, but the assistance must be both reasonable and necessary. A judicial warrant is required.

"This is the electronic equivalent to admitting a Police with a search warrant on to your property."

Mr Goff said the Act also expanded on the Terrorism Suppression Act by allowing Customs to detain property, cash or equivalents crossing New Zealand's border if there is good cause to suspect the owner was a terrorist.

He rejected claims that the Act could be used to suppress lawful protests.

"Exercising a democratic right to protest will not see people designated as terrorists. Considerable effort was made in drafting Bill to avoid that unwarranted designation," Mr Goff said.

"The government is sensitive to the need to strike a balance between fighting terrorism and not infringing on personal freedoms. However the right to protest has never been a right to indulge in unrestrained criminal activity."

© 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