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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news