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


New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill

Hone Harawira, MP for Te Tai Tokerau
Thursday 9 December 2010

First of all, let me say that the Maori Party is not fundamentally opposed to government taking steps to ensure the security of our country, nor are we opposed to the use of technology to enhance that security.

Furthermore, the Maori Party supports the principles of transparency, accountability, integrity, respect and confidentiality.

But in terms of this bills proposal to widen the powers of the SIS, I have grave doubts about the way in which a secret organisation goes about snooping on ordinary law-abiding citizens.

I express particular concern on behalf of the many Maori in this country who are actively campaigning for recognition of tino rangatiratanga, as well as those citizens who care about the integrity of this nation - for the very reason that they have been improperly targeted by the SIS in the past, and will undoubtedly attract further attention from the pie-in-the-briefcase brigade in the future, and for those with a short memory, I recall the following incidents for the edification of the members of this house ...

The SIS publicly releasing a list of "radicals and subversives" during the 1981 Springbok Tour, to try to hamstring the anti-tour movement;

SIS agents caught in an illegal search of the house of Christchurch anti-globalisation activist Aziz Choudry;

The SIS issuing a security risk certificate against Ahmed Zaoui and having the poor bugger held in jail without trial, until they were forced to withdraw the certificate when they couldn't substantiate their claims;

SIS involvement in gathering the information which led to the botched terrorism raids on the nation of Tuhoe, and the laying of terrorism charges against Tuhoe citizens which have since been thrown out;

And then just last month, for some unknown reason, Professor Jane Kelsey, vocal critic of the SIS' role in New Zealand politics, all of a sudden gets stopped at the airport trying to get into Australia to promote a book challenging the credibility of the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Given the public embarrassment that the SIS has subjected this nation to over the last 20 years with some of their keystone cops routines, and their harassment of law abiding citizens, I would have thought parliament would be wanting greater scrutiny over the SIS rather than simply r ubber-stamping their cell-phone snoopery.

But here we are considering giving these guys even greater powers?

And when I think of who is actually watching-the-watchers, I am mindful that although there is a committee set up to oversee the SIS, the operations are not themselves subject to public scrutiny.

Mr Speaker, the Maori Party is happy to support this bill at first reading if it is going to be brought before a select committee for public debate and scrutiny, because we want people who have concerns about the SIS' past and current activities to tell the committee so government can hear exactly what their precious SIS gets up to, but we are not keen to support it if those submissions are all going to be held behind closed doors.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels