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


ACT Leader's reply on Christchurch mosques terrorist attacks

Speech: ACT Leader's reply to PM's statement on Christchurch mosques terrorist attacks

Tue, 19 Mar, 2019


Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the ACT Party to join with other leaders in offering the victims condolence, and the perpetrator condemnation.

I extend not just to those who were attacked but to every Muslim New Zealander our sympathy but also our solidarity.

It is important that solidarity is comprehensive. So, let us close ranks around the cherished values of our county. Let me adopt, from the opposite end of our political spectrum, the words of our Prime Minister.

We grieve together, we are one, they are us.

Normally, in New Zealand, all the bad news is in the world section of our newspapers. How could it be that our country is supplying bad news to the papers of the world?

It is tempting to say we’ve changed forever.

Cold comfort it may be, but one of our darkest days has shed light on our true character. Up and down this country, people have opened up seemingly bottomless wells of love and strength.

I’d like to pay tribute to those first responders, including the very first responders who heroically confronted the terrorist, unarmed. I hope that our Government suitably recognises you.

To those who followed up, the Police, medics, hospital staff, and teachers, this Parliament thanks you for your service. Those who have held vigils, created memes of affirmation, left flowers, and donated millions of dollars show the warmth and resilience of our communities.

Please allow me some disagreement, then, with those who say our country has changed forever. Changing New Zealand was the terrorist’s objective. Changing New Zealand dishonours the victims by letting him win.

The values we have seen expressed over the past several days are the same ones that are recorded in our country’s founding document nearly 180 years ago: that what we treasure should be safe from harm. That we each have equal rights and duties.

The inherent rights to safety and equal treatment of every individual in this country have been recorded more fully in our Bill of Rights. It is worth remembering what the Bill of Rights guarantees.

Among its promises are the right not to be deprived of life, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, and freedom of movement.

One of them is worth quoting at length, manifestation of religion and belief. Every person has the right to manifest that person's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private.

The terrorist may not like it, but this country has shown, and this Parliament is showing, that we will never dishonor the victims by backing down from our fervent belief in these freedoms. For all of us.

Let us also remember the words of Canadian author Naomi Klein, who warned in her Shock Doctrine that “in moments of crisis, people are willing to hand over a great deal of power…” It is important that we maintain our tradition of sober, robust lawmaking at all times, but especially now.

Clearly, there are policy issues to be addressed. They relate to gun laws, to speech on social media, and the performance of the security and intelligence services, to name a few that have arisen already. It is critical that we get these issues right, that any changes are relevant to and effective at solving the problems that have arisen.

It would be a great shame to fall for the old fallacy, we must do something, this is something, so let’s do this thing. On the issue of security and intelligence in particular, we need to know how this is possible, and what might be done about it. Given it involves the performance of government agencies, I cannot see how the issues arising could be visited by anything less than a Royal Commission, reporting to the Governor-General, at arm’s length from Government.

The same could be said for the Government’s existing schedule. I hope that critical policy issues will be given extra time so that they can be properly ventilated through the usual processes. Giving all current submission and reporting times an extra fortnight as a rule of thumb would be an excellent gesture.

Suffice it to say, this Parliament stands ready to assist in getting the policy response to the terror tragedy right. It must be a high-quality response in keeping with the underlying values of our country. The best way to show defiance is to refuse to erode our free society.

So much for the future. For now, let us honour the heroes, console those who have lost, and commemorate those who were lost. As a touching image shared by many on the internet concludes, I say to the victims, this is your home, and you should have been safe here.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>


Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>


Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>


Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>


IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>


‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>





InfoPages News Channels