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Politics of fear has no place in New Zealand

1 August 2013

Politics of fear has no place in New Zealand

John Key is trying to frighten the New Zealand public into submission as he pushes through his law to strip away their rights, the Green Party said today.

Today John Key revealed that people involved in Al Qaeda were living in New Zealand. This comes on the day that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Bill, which will give New Zealand spy agencies even greater power to monitor New Zealanders, is back before Parliament.

“John Key is using politics of fear to justify a law change that will give the GCSB, a foreign intelligence gathering agency, extensive powers to spy on New Zealanders,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“There is no justification for increasing the power of the GCSB to intrude into the private lives of ordinary New Zealanders.

“The reality is that our agencies were able to identify and monitor people of concern under the current law. Key’s example shows that New Zealand’s spy agencies are doing their job; it does not demonstrate any gaping hole in our law that needs to be changed.

“The GCSB is a foreign intelligence collecting agency. It has no place spying on New Zealanders.

“John Key previously raised the spectre of the Boston bombings to justify this Bill, which has been condemned by the New Zealand Law Society, former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, New Zealander of the Year Dame Anne Salmond, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commission.

“Political leaders around the world have used politics of fear to make unjustified changes. George Bush and Sir Robert Muldoon have used the politics of fear to drive their oppressive political agendas.

“What is needed is an independent inquiry to examine the activities of our spy agencies which the Law Commission could then use as a starting point to see if our laws need changing.

“A law change should be the last step in the process, not the first, especially for a law that will have such a chilling effect on the privacy of New Zealanders,” said Dr Norman.

ENDS

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