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Labour Wants More Changes To Search Bill

Labour says it will be seeking further amendment of the Search and Surveillance Bill.

Debate began on the controversial bill after the third reading of the Building Amendment Bill (No 3) was completed and the bill passed by 64 to 57 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting.

MPs began the committee stage of the Search and Surveillance Bill.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the bill would balance rights while giving the police reasonable and regulated powers.

Collins said the temporary legislation covering secret video camera use by the Police would expire on April 18 and this bill would take effect from then.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel said Parliament had worked hard to make the bill better both in the select committee and in discussions between parties.

Chauvel said the ``purpose’’ clause made it clear to the courts they had to take account of rights and privacy laws.

The codification in one piece of law of numerous agencies search powers was a desirable thing.

One omission in the bill that should be rectified in committee of the House was the Serious Fraud Office.

Labour would be seeking to bring them under the bill as the SFO had extraordinary powers that needed to be standardized and open to some checks and balances, Chauvel said.

Debate continues.

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