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King: Terrorist lists only part of the picture

King: Terrorist lists only part of the picture

Police Minister Annette King says she has been saddened by National MP Murray McCully's unprincipled hatchet attacks on NZ Police, including individual police officers, over the issue of lists of designated terrorists.

"Mr McCully has deliberately set out to confuse the New Zealand public about security at New Zealand's borders, and has maligned individual police staff to suit his own political purposes. Such behaviour is unacceptable."

Ms King says Mr McCully well knows there are many ways to prevent unwanted people entering New Zealand.

"There are many ways of sharing information between states that we can – and do – use to prevent undesireable individuals from entering New Zealand. The public face of this is the designation process. As Assistant Commissioner Jon White has been saying, while public lists are an important part of the picture, we also rely on our strong law enforcement relationships with like-minded nations, and on being keyed into INTERPOL databases and similar databases around the world. We are also active in sharing intelligence on these matters.

"New Zealand was one of the first countries to pass legislation following 9/11. We designate all UN-designated individuals and entities (designated by the UN Security Council pursuant to Resolution 1267), and have more than 460 such entities and individuals designated. We continue to update that list," she says.

Ms King noted that Mr McCully appears to be confusing the purposes underlying the Australian list. "It is important to remember that the Australians have two public lists. The DFAT list has over 1600 entries (many of the entries are aliases and variations on spelling). It is an offence to finance any of the entities on that list. There is also the Attorney-General's list of 19 proscribed organisations, and it is an offence to finance, participate in or support those organisations.

"When the New Zealand Parliament passed the Terrorism Suppression Act, it decided that it would be an offence to finance, participate in or support any of the entities designated by the Prime Minister – and so far, the Prime Minister has designated over 460 individuals and organisations. I trust Police and other agencies around their data collections, their interface with agencies overseas, and the work they do to keep this country safe. Mr McCully's confusing and misleading foray into the designation process is a sideshow."

ENDS

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