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Katene: New Zealand Security Intelligence Amendment Bill

New Zealand Security Intelligence Amendment Bill /
Crimes Amendment Bill
Third Reading : Rahui Katene
Tuesday 5 July 2011 3.45pm

Tena koe te whare, rau rangatira ma, tena koutou katoa.

The Maori Party stands to take a brief call on the New Zealand Security Intelligence Amendment Bill.

This Bill is yet another one in the long line of legislation preparing us for the Rugby World Cup.

The legislation proposes the in order to support effective security operations, we need to update the warrant framework, to take into account the technological changes advanced in the storage and communication of information.

Dr Warren Young, Law Commissioner, apparently provided an independent analysis of the bill and was satisfied that the need for change was warranted and that the amendments proposed in this Bill would enable the Security Intelligence Service with an opportunity to effectively undertake its statutory functions.

Mr Speaker, I would have to say that as a general principle, the Maori Party has had concerns in the past around the operations of New Zealand’s surveillance machinery as it impacts on Maori.

There is of course the as yet unresolved concerns around the Urewera raids. The SIS have stated that they were not involved; they appear to have been brought into the issue because of a briefing on the raids that they gave the opposition leader, John Key.

In that fateful period in October 2007, more than 300 police raided alleged military-style training camps in rugged Urewera ranges in the Bay of Plenty and homes in Auckland, Ruatoki, Palmerston North and Wellington.
Later that month the Security Intelligence Service issued a rare public statement to dispel speculation it was involved in the police operation that culminated in the arrest of 17 alleged activists. In that release, Dr Warren Tucker, in his position as Director of Security advised that "The SIS has no powers to enforce security, such as arrest or detention”; concluding that the operations were a police matter.
But in his release, Dr Tucker did not address the issue of whether the SIS may have been involved in the year- long surveillance operation that led to the raids – and so in Maori communities, the question still remains unanswered.
There are other concerns dating some seven years ago from a time around 2004 when there were allegations that the SIS had spied on members of the Maori Party and Maori organisations. An investigation by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security found that spying had not taken place.

Mr Speaker, I make just a brief mention to this background, as I think it is timely to consider two other events that have occurred in the last few days, also of bearing to this Bill.

The first, of course, is the historic agreement signed with Ngai Tuhoe at Mataatua Marae in Ruatahuna on Saturday.

The signing signalled a landmark in the relationship between Tuhoe and the Government – and I have to say it is humbling to see the generosity of spirit exhibited by a people who have endured such bitter twists and turns in their interactions with the Crown over the last century and more.

The second key event, of course, is the claim being described as the most significant claim in a generation, that of WAI 262.

Ko Aotearoa Tenei, is the Waitangi Tribunal’s report into that claim and it describes how key priorities in the preservation and transmission of Maori culture, identity and knowledge should be shared between the Crown and Maori.

I have to say – that when it comes to this SIS Bill, and the urgency accorded any legislation paving the way for Rugby World Cup fever to take over our nation – I am saddened that this most significant report was not also considered worthy of the same urgency.

Indeed, what better time than Maori Language Week to bring to the fore the place of Maori culture, identity and traditional knowledge.

And in fact the Rugby World Cup 2011 provides an excellent opportunity to use Māori language knowledge as New Zealand showcases itself on the world stage.

In keeping with the Maori Language Week theme of manaakitanga – this week provides us with an excellent opportunity to think about how we make people feel welcome when they are in our company, and how we give regard to and care for others when hosting visitors.

Manaakitanga is about keeping our visitors safe and secure – but it is also about extending the hand of welcome, by sharing Maori culture as integral to national culture and identity.

We will support this New Zealand Security Intelligence Amendment Bill / Crimes Amendment Bill at its third reading – and we look forward to the companion legislation promoting the status of matauranga Maori into our national agenda.


ENDS

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