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Dunne Address Rally Opposing New Driver's Licences

7 September 2000

DUNNE ADDRESSES RALLY OPPOSING NEW DRIVER'S LICENCE

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, restated his opposition to the digitised driver's licence system when he spoke to a rally at Parliament this afternoon.

Mr Dunne told the rally that he voted against the proposal to introduce photos on drivers' licences, because they represented a serious assault on individual liberty.

"I objected strongly then to the fact that the Government was letting contracts relating to a photographic driver licensing system, before it even had Parliamentary approval for such a scheme."

"That was an arrogant and cavalier attitude to the supremacy of Parliament, which should have concerned all New Zealanders."

"I objected then to the costs of the change being foisted upon licence holders, especially when they had been sold the concept of a single lifetime licence."

"United's third reason for opposing the move was that there were insufficient safeguards to prevent the new driver's licence becoming a de facto national identity card," he said.

Mr Dunne told the rally those concerns remained unabated, and the present Government's review of the system was ill timed and did not go far enough.

"There are still significant individual privacy concerns amongst many licence holders about the security of the digitised photographic licence, which a proper independent review ought to address."

"That review should be headed by the Privacy Commissioner, and should hear public submissions as well."

"Many people who have philosophical objections to carrying a digitised photographic licence have not upgraded their old lifetime licences and have been wondering about their legal position as a consequence," he said.

Mr Dunne said the whole saga of the introduction of the new licensing system has been a mess from the beginning, and a tinkering review at this stage is unlikely to make much difference.

ENDS

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