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PM needs to seek more answers from the SIS

9 February 2009
PM needs to seek more answers from the SIS

Green Party MP Keith Locke says Prime Minister John Key needs to ask some more questions of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) - given that he is the responsible Minister.

"Mr Key seems to have been told that my file is just a set of news clippings, when in fact it contains documents on my private dealings with constituents, and in particular my discussions with New Zealand Tamils prior to my peace monitoring trip to Sri Lanka in 2003. This is clear interference by the SIS in my work as an MP," said Mr Locke.

Mr Locke's file is an 'SIS Personal File', a file which is maintained only on people considered by the SIS to be a security risk: that is of some potential danger to the state.

"There is not a shred of evidence on my 'Personal File' in the 44 years prior to me becoming an MP that I am in any way dangerous or have done anything illegal. My selection by the Green Party to become an MP was mainly because of the leadership role I had played in several peace and justice movements, many of which were snooped on by the SIS.

"The fact a 'Personal File' was maintained on me when an MP is offensive to the Green Party and those NGOs whose peace and justice issues I represent in Parliament.

"Mr Key shouldn't accept at face value the assurances of the SIS that the updating of my file, during my time as an MP, was just the work of an 'over-zealous' staff member."

Of particular concern to Mr Locke is the fact that there is no indication whatsoever in the letter accompanying the files from SIS Director Dr Warren Tucker that the SIS was wrong, to maintain and update his files once he had become an MP.

"I challenge Mr Key to get the full story about the SIS continuing to monitor me after I became an MP, and to take responsibility as Minister in charge of the SIS."

Mr Locke welcomes the Prime Minister's comment that he will look at better processes, and pledges the Green Party's co-operation in this.


ENDS

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