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


Bill Strengthens Journalists’ Ability To Protect Sources

Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

6 March 2012

A Bill to modernise and clarify search and surveillance laws would also significantly improve journalists’ ability to protect the identity of their sources by enhancing ‘journalistic privilege’ in New Zealand law.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Search and Surveillance Bill recognises the media’s important role in a free and democratic society.

“Currently, the media cannot prevent material from being seized during a search and therefore viewed and accessed, although they may subsequently challenge its admissibility in court or seek an interim order to prevent it from being used or viewed.

“The Search and Surveillance Bill recognises ‘journalistic privilege’ and provides greater protection for journalists’ sources.

“A journalist can claim privilege over information contained in documents preventing the documents from being searched. The documents would then be secured and taken to the High Court for safekeeping until the claim of privilege can be determined.

“Journalists can also refuse to answer questions that would identify a source therefore ensuring the information cannot be disclosed until a judge has made a determination.

“This is a huge improvement in journalists’ ability to protect the identity of their sources from the current situation,” Ms Collins said.

Improvements to the Bill aimed at further strengthening the principles of ‘journalistic privilege’ were introduced to Parliament on Monday through a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) to improve the procedure when journalistic privilege is considered.

“Previously, the Bill allowed for a judge of the District Court to consider claims of journalistic privilege. This has now been changed to the High Court.

“It is important that we preserve the principles of media freedom and a journalist’s right to protect sources and this Bill and the SOP enable that,” Ms Collins said.



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>


UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>


2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>


Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels