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Six Years On From Operation 8, Govt Still Breaking the Law

Hone Harawira
MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau

15 October 2013

Six Years On From Operation 8 and Government Is Still Breaking the Law

“Six years on from the Police raids of Ruatoki in 2007 and government is still breaking the law” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira.

“When the police spied on the people in the Urewera’s they broke the law – pure and simple. And when they followed that up by smashing their way into people’s homes, throwing up blockades at Ruatoki and Taneatua and detaining people without proper authority, the Police’s own watchdog – the Independent Police Complaints Authority – went so far as to call Police actions “unlawful, unjustified, and unreasonable”.

“The government’s response? Deny all wrongdoing and change the law to make what was illegal, now legal.

“Six years later the Government Communications Security Bureau gets sprung illegally spying on NZ citizens, and the government’s response? Exactly the same - deny all wrongdoing and change the law to make what was illegal now legal.

“The difference now though is the outrage of ordinary citizens who have finally cottoned on to the depth and breadth of government spying.

“Now it’s not just Maori activists, Greenpeace campaigners and union organisers. Today government is spying into the lives of ordinary Kiwis - their life details checked, cross-checked, amended, debated, deleted, destroyed and dehumanised, without their knowledge and without their consent - by a network of computers run by Work and Income, Housing New Zealand, Accident Compensation Commission, Child, Youth and Family, Inland Revenue, the Justice Department, Corrections, the Police, and no doubt a few other departments and agencies.

“And thanks to the efforts of the Waihopai Warriors and the whistleblowing of Edward Snowden, we also know that the GCSB has been illegally snooping into our phone calls, emails, texts, facebook and twitter – not in defence of New Zealand’s security, but to help the morally and financially bankrupt United States of America.

“The Kim Dotcom fiasco is simply the most high-profile example of NZ spy agencies acting on behalf of American commercial interests and happily breaking NZ laws as they did so. It wasn’t the first example, and the scary thing is that it won’t be the last.

“All of this makes the convictions of the Urewera 4 for illegal possession of firearms look bloody pathetic, particularly given how many farmers and hunters both here in Otago and up in the Far North are probably running around with unregistered guns right now.

“As we recall the racism and the terrorism imposed upon the people of Tuhoe in 2007, I call on all Kiwis to note that on this very day Parliament is debating the second reading of the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill which this government is pushing through to grant the GCSB and the National Security Agency of the USA, extended powers of surveillance over New Zealand citizens, without people’s knowledge and without their consent.”

ENDS

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