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


SIS No. 2 Bill Worsens Situation

“The NZ SIS Amendment Bill No. 2, while posing as a response to critics of the current legislation, actually worsens the situation for unions and non governmental organisations,” Trade Union Federation Secretary, Michael Gilchrist, said today.

The Bill, which is likely to be passed in the house this afternoon, re-states the definition of security while providing for more extensive reporting of SIS activities - but only after the fact.

“All the features of the old definition concerning “New Zealand’s international well-being or economic well-being” are retained while the new sections tend, if anything, to widen the net.

“We are, in New Zealand, all foreign influenced, for example, whether we desire to be or not. And anything which the SIS wants to investigate must, by definition, be clandestine or deceptive,” Mr Gilchrist said, referring to the two new elements in the definition.
“The SIS could, if it wished, investigate the New Zealand cricket team under this definition of security.

“Organisations such as our own, together with pressure groups and individuals with any kind of international or economic focus, have to assume that we are under surveillance. This assumption - together with the surveillance itself - interferes with our functioning and effectiveness in a number of ways.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Intelligence and Security Committee want to continue and extend this situation. The appointment of a new Director General of the SIS, (Richard Woods, former NZ Ambassador to France), whose expertise lies in the area of international and economic affairs, further emphasises this development.

“We are particularly disappointed that the Labour Party members of the committee have ignored requests from all parts of the union movement to drop this aspect of the definition. That recommendation has also come from the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, who might be thought to speak with some authority on this matter.”

Two weeks out from the APEC leaders meeting, Mr Gilchrist said he expected the SIS to make full use of its expanded remit.

“The SIS is being placed very clearly at the service of globalisation - not, paradoxically, at the service of national security. We would expect any activists concerned with the influence of trans-national corporations, for example, to become prime targets for the SIS. This will especially be the case with regard to the APEC issues of trade and investment liberalisation. But it will also affect issues that loom large in the future such as food production, food contamination and genetic modification,” Mr Gilchrist said.

“This Bill reinforces the shift in the role of the SIS from protecting the national interest to protecting corporate interests, particularly the trans-national corporate interests which are so influential in the NZ economy. That shift was at the heart of the Privacy Commissioner’s objection to the expanded definition of security and we very much share that concern,” he said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits

In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders

Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels