Today the Prime Minister John Key and the Attorney General Chris Finlayson announced the introduction of a new bill to Parliament today. The New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill 2016 has been introduced and will have its first reading this Thursday. Key and Finlayson both answered questions about the process of the bill’s drafting and how they envisioned it operating.
Key said that the Government had accepted the majority of the recommendations made by the independent review of intelligence and security conducted by Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir Michael Cullen. Attorney General, Minister in Charge of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and Minister Responsible for the GCSB Chris Finlayson said he was looking forward to this bill going through the full select committee process. He also commented that he hadn’t wanted any suggestion of the NZSIS and GCSB merging as in his eyes that was a concentration of too much power in one agency.
After lengthy discussion of the ins and outs of the introduced bill Key spoke briefly about the ongoing campylobacter outbreak in Hastings. Key said he had spoken to Hastings District Council Mayor Lawrence Yule and was still taking advice on the situation. Key said the current priority was to make sure people could get better but once that was done there would have to be investigations into why the outbreak occurred.