Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


David Small on Inspector-General Resignation

David Small on Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

Office of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security in Need of Overhaul

The resignation of Laurie Grieg from the post of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is a stroke of luck for the govenment according to the first person to lay a complaint with the office. Christchurch academic and civil liberties advocate, David Small, who together with Aziz Choudry laid a complaint about an SIS break-in to Mr Choudry’s home and subsequent Police search of Dr Small’s home, said that if the Inspector-General had not chosen to resign after a court found he revealed an unacceptable level of personal bias against Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui, it would have ben very difficult to remove him.

Under Section 7 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996, the Inspector General can only be removed “by the Governor-General, upon an address from the House of Representatives, for disability affecting performance of duty, bankruptcy, neglect of duty, or misconduct”. This represents the same level of protection afforded High Court Judges. However High Court Judges operate within established judicial structures and procedures including a hierarchy of courts, rules of evidence and transparent systems of appeal. The position of Inspector-General enjoys a high level of personal discretion.

“It is fortunate for New Zealand, and particularly for Mr Zaoui, that the incumbent Inspector-General chose to air his personal views publicly”, said Dr Small. “Had he not done so, there would have been no impediment to his acting on his personal prejudices in considering cases before him”.

“The spectacular failures of the Inspector-General to date are more than merely mistakes of the person holding the office”, he said. “They are shortcomings of the office itself”.

“The Inspector-General is given the task of ensuring that complaints relating to the SIS are independently investigated. From the outset, however, the Inspector-General has had a cosy uncritical relationship with the SIS. Since the office of Inspector-General was created, the SIS has been given significant increases in the funding, staffing levels, scope of its investigation, and legislative powers. The need for the SIS to be publicly accountable has never been greater. However the Inspector-General has repeatedly demonstrated that his office provides no proper mechanism for investigating complaints.”

The government now has the opportunity to reorganise the office of Inspector-General and make it genuinely accountable to the public.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Attack Isn’t Our Best Means Of Cyber-Defence

This morning’s news that the SIS engaged in attacks on the Indian High Commission and Embassy of Iran during the late 1980s/early 1990s should come as no surprise. Down the years, there’s been an Orwellian tendency to depict the role of our spy agencies as re-active, and being all about the provision of “defence” and “security” here at home. In reality, that’s not what they’re about. Regularly, our membership of the Five Eyes alliance has seen our spy agencies act as willing guns for hire for whatever contract work that MI6 or the CIA may have in mind... More>>


    Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

    The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>


    Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>


    Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

    Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>


    Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>


    Gun Law: A New Firearms System Focused On Safety

    Tougher gun laws will begin to take effect from next week following the passage of new firearms legislation through Parliament today. The Minister of Police says the Third Reading of the Arms Legislation Bill is an historic milestone for community ... More>>


    Government: Building A Stronger Health And Disability System

    The Government is committing to a long-term programme of reform to build a stronger New Zealand Health and Disability System that delivers for all. More>>


    National: Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle

    Today I am confirming a minor shadow cabinet reshuffle due to the retirement of Paula Bennett. Dr Shane Reti will be ranked number 13 and will take on Associate Drug Reform. Shane has demonstrated a huge intellect and capacity for work, supporting ... More>>

    Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

    Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>


    Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>


    Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

    ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>


    Int'l Trade: New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021

    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, ... More>>






    InfoPages News Channels