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

 


Locke to retire at election

26 January 2011

Locke to retire at election

Green MP Keith Locke announced today that he will not run again at the next election, but promised a busy 12th and final year in Parliament.

Mr Locke said it would be time to move onto other projects after the 2011 election: “The National Government can’t relax just yet. I will keep up the political pace right through to the election. The Search and Surveillance Bill and the SIS Amendment Bill will not have an easy ride through Parliament, and I will keep campaigning for my Bill of Rights Amendment Bill as well as for the withdrawal of SAS troops from Afghanistan.” 

The 66-year-old said he was proud of his achievements as a human rights watchdog and peace advocate.  “I’ll probably be remembered as the MP who most strongly resisted legislation inspired by the ‘war on terror’ which has eroded our civil liberties.

“Perhaps my efforts mean that our anti-terrorism and security laws are not so draconian as they are in some other Western countries.”

The Auckland MP said one of his most gratifying moments during his four terms was helping Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui gain his New Zealand residence: “I was proud to be Mr Zaoui’s parliamentary advocate during his five year battle with the Security Intelligence Service and other state agencies.”

Mr Locke said he was also pleased to have inspired greater debate about intelligence services, both by challenging the SIS for keeping a file on him while an MP, and trying to break down the wall of secrecy around the Waihopai spy base.

“Throughout my term I’ve tried to steer New Zealand foreign policy in a more independent direction, less tied to American interests. Successes of which I was a part include getting rid of our air combat force, staying out of the Iraq war, and New Zealand playing a leading role in a treaty to ban cluster bombs.

“I’ve been honoured to be a parliamentary spokesperson for those suffering human rights abuses in China, Burma, Palestine, Tonga and many other places. And I hope I’ve embarrassed the Government so that the next time the Dalai Lama visits there won’t be a ban on Ministers meeting him.”

Mr Locke also kick-started the parliamentary debate on whether New Zealand should become a republic: “Even though my Head of State Referenda Bill failed to get a majority in the House, I’m confident we will be a republic in the not-too-distant future.

“As an Auckland MP I’ve played a significant role in redirecting attention and finance into public transport. In 2006, working in tandem with Rodney Hide, I galvanised a successful campaign to stop the construction of an expensive and misplaced waterfront stadium.”

Among his projects after leaving Parliament would be writing political history – including that of the Green Party – and engaging more with global Green organisations, Mr Locke said. “Even when I am not operating from a parliamentary platform, those who start wars and abuse human rights will not escape my attention.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news