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Search and Surveillance Bill passes second reading

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

1 March 2012

Search and Surveillance Bill passes second reading

A bill to boost the tools available to law enforcement agencies to fight crime has passed its second reading.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Search and Surveillance Bill, when passed, will ensure the rights of people being searched or monitored are respected.

“The Bill brings search and surveillance powers up to date with 21st century technology while still safeguarding human rights,” Ms Collins said.

The Bill specifies when searches may be carried out, how they may be carried out, and by whom. It also details the reporting requirements surrounding the use of such powers.

“Providing a comprehensive search and surveillance regime in a single piece of legislation gives certainty and clarity to law enforcement agencies, those under surveillance or being searched, and judicial officers,” Ms Collins said.

The Bill also addresses the Supreme Court decision last year that suggested standard search warrants cannot be relied upon as a lawful authority to conduct covert video camera surveillance.

“Regulation of previously unregulated activities protects New Zealanders by ensuring they are subject to appropriate safeguards and limitations. It also gives Police and other agencies a legitimate law enforcement tool,” Ms Collins said.

Ms Collins praised the work of the Justice and Electoral Committee and thanked people who made submissions on the Bill, which resulted in a number of thoughtful and considered changes that helped shape the balance between human rights and law enforcement.


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