Cablegate: New Zealand: 2008 Country Reports On Terrorism

DE RUEHWL #0424/01 3570319
R 220319Z DEC 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

WELLINGTON 00000424 001.2 OF 003

Compliance with International Instruments

1. (U) New Zealand attaches importance to its compliance with
international counterterrorism instruments. It has ratified 12 of
the 16 international instruments and maintains up-to-date reporting
to the United Nations (UN). New Zealand uses the UN Global
Counter-Terrorism Strategy as a key reference point.

2. (U) The 2002 Terrorism Suppression Act was amended in 2007 to
create a generic offence for committing a terrorist act and
streamline the process for designating terrorists (by law, New
Zealand automatically lists those terrorist individuals and entities
designated by UN Security Council's 1267 Committee). To date, New
Zealand has designated 1277 United Nations listed terrorist
entities. New Zealand has yet to designate any individuals or
entities pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (which
imposes obligations on members' states to criminalize global
terrorist activities).

Terrorist Funding Investigation

3. (U) Under the Financial Transaction Reporting Act 1996,
financial institutions (note: which includes banks, money exchanges
and casinos etc) are required to report transactions suspected of
being linked to money laundering or proceeds of crime enforcement to
the New Zealand Police Financial Intelligence Unit (FUI) based at
Police National Headquarters in Wellington. In the year to June 30
2008, the FIU processed 1,848 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs)
and referred 485 of these to various law enforcement agencies and
units for investigations. Over the same period, the FIU did not
receive any Suspicious Property Reports pursuant to the 2002
Terrorism Suppression Act.

Combating Nuclear Terrorism

4. (U) New Zealand endorsed The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism (GICNT) in November 2007 and has attended one major
meeting, the June 2008 Political Meeting. New Zealand is presently
working on planned contributions to the GICNT, which include:
hosting a workshop for Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in April/May
2009 on security and safety of radiological material; increasing the
regular contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency's
Nuclear Security Fund; and exploring possibilities for a modest
contribution to nuclear and radiological security in Southeast Asia.
New Zealand is also looking into hosting a tabletop exercise for
local agencies in 2009 with the aim of ensuring appropriate systems
are in place to respond to the event of a nuclear/radiological
terrorist event in New Zealand.

5. (U) New Zealand has not ratified the Nuclear Terrorism
Convention and the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical
Protection of Nuclear Material. Nevertheless, the new offences
obliged by the two treaties - concerning the use of radioactive
material and radioactive devices - were added to the Terrorism
Suppression Act in 2007.

NZ Support in Afghanistan
6. (U) New Zealand remained active in Operation Enduring Freedom in
Afghanistan, working with coalition partners in undertaking Maritime
Security Operations. New Zealand commands the Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan's Bamyan Province,
currently as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF). The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is mandated up to 140
personnel as part of NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZ PRT) in
Afghanistan. From February 25-26, Habiba Sarabi, the governor of
Bamyan province, was in Wellington where she met with government
officials to discuss the need for more troops. This was followed by
an announcement from the government that the NZ PRT will be extended
until September 2009. In October, 132 NZDF personnel left to serve
in Bamyan and Bagram. This 13th rotation will remain in Afghanistan
for six months. Three New Zealand Police are based in Bamyan
working with the European Police Mission in Afghanistan). At the
Paris Conference in June, New Zealand pledged USD11 million in aid
to 2012.
7. (U) In September, a 172 strong contingent from the NZDF's 2/1st
Infantry Battalion travelled to Germany to participate in Exercise
Cooperative Spirit, a multinational exercise intended to test and
improve interoperability and strengthen ties amongst American,
British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Armies.

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Addressing Security in the Pacific
8. (U) New Zealand assists PICs' understanding of, and compliance
with, the international counterterrorism agenda. Strong focus is
given to legislative and operational capacity-building projects many
of which are funded through the Pacific Security Fund, an
interagency pool of money to advance or protect New Zealand's
security interests by reducing risks from threats arising in or
operating through PICs.
9. (U) In previous years New Zealand has provided assistance to
PICs in meeting their UN reporting obligations pursuant to UN
Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1373, and 1540. In 2008, New
Zealand has been actively engaged in Counterterrorism and security
related projects with PICs but none specifically related to their UN
reporting obligations. New Zealand instead preferred to focus on
providing capacity building assistance and support for the
development of Counterterrorism legislation among PICs. New Zealand
convenes and chairs the annual Pacific Islands Forum Working Group
on Counter-Terrorism (WGCT) which provides an opportunity for PICs
to receive up-to-date information on the international
counter-terrorism regime and to coordinate technical assistance
projects to assist their compliance with UN Security Council
reporting obligations. At the June 2008 meeting of the WGCT, New
Zealand made an offer to PICs to provide assistance with UN

Promoting Counterterrorism and Dialogue in Asia
--------------------------------------------- --

10. (U) New Zealand also promotes counter-terrorism capacity
building and a range of and regional security initiatives through
the Asia Security Fund. The Fund supports projects implemented by a
range of partners, including regional counter-terrorism centers such
as the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia
and the South East Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism in

11. (U) New Zealand's counter-terrorism efforts are reinforced by
its engagement in interfaith and inter-cultural initiatives aimed at
countering radicalization and terrorist recruitment. New Zealand
(with Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines) co-sponsors the
Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue. The Dialogue involves
religious and community leaders from 15 countries from South East
Asia and the Pacific and aims to foster tolerance, reinforce
moderate religious views and isolate religious extremism. New
Zealand hosted the third Dialogue at Waitangi, New Zealand in May
2007. New Zealand also supports the UN-led Alliance of
Civilisations (AOC) initiative which has developed a framework for
practical action to bridge divides and improve relations between
faiths, societies and cultures, particularly between Islam and the
West. New Zealand convened a Symposium in May 2007 to focus
regional attention on the AOC Report's recommendations in the four
"fields of action" - education, youth, media and migration.

Engagement in the PSI
12. (U) New Zealand has participated in the Proliferation Security
Initiative (PSI) since 2004, and is a member of the Operational
Experts Group (OEG). In February, New Zealand attended and
presented at the London OEG meeting and the Gulf/Levant Outreach
Workshop. In May, New Zealand officials attended and presented at
5th Anniversary Senior Level Meeting and Outreach Workshop in
Washington. In September, New Zealand sent officials to present at
Paris OEG meeting. New Zealand officials also gave a PSI
presentation to the Asian Senior Officials Talks on Proliferation in
Tokyo in April. In June, it gave a PSI presentation to Pacific
Islands Forum Working Group on Counter-Terrorism and raised PSI at
the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Meeting in Suva. New
Zealand's bilateral PSI outreach in 2008 included to Indonesia (Feb
and March), Laos (March and November), Chile (March), Brazil
(March), Thailand (April), Cambodia (April), Egypt (April), Republic
of Korea (April), and several Pacific Island countries - Vanuatu,
Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa (August - November).
13. (U) From September 13-19, the New Zealand Customs Service
hosted an international PSI exercise (Exercise MARU) in Auckland for
delegates from 27 countries. MARU had a strong customs and law
enforcement focus. It consisted of several phases, including live
exercises dealing with maritime interception and interdiction, port
search demonstrations, and a tabletop exercise.

Effects of 2007 Police Raids Continue

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14. (U) On October 15, 2007, New Zealand police arrested 17 people
and seized a number of weapons, including semi-automatic weapons and
petrol bombs, during a series of raids throughout the country and
referred evidence against 12 of the 17 people for additional
possible prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA), the
first time the Act had been invoked since it became law in 2002.
Solicitor-General Dr. David Collins declined TSA prosecution but
nonetheless prosecuted the arrestees under the Firearms Act. On
October 17 2008, one of the 17 initially arrested in the October 15
raids, Rongomai Pero Bailey (aka) Simon Bailey, was acquitted of all
firearms charges because of insufficient evidence. The 16
remaining arrestees, all out on bail, have their next court date on
February 17, 2009. All have been excused from appearing in court
provided they are represented by a lawyer.

15. (U) In April 2008, the Solicitor-General Collins took contempt
of court proceedings against Fairfax Media and Dominion Post
newspaper Editor Tim Pankhurst, for publishing 13 extracts in
November 2007 from conversations recorded during police surveillance
of people suspected of terrorism. The matter is still before the

Funding Sought for Enhanced In-Flight Security
--------------------------------------------- -
16. (U) In December, the NZ Police made a request to the new Police
Minister, Judith Collins, for funding to enable officers of the
elite Special Tactics Group (STG) to provide covert in-flight
security on 2.5 percent of all flights to or over the United States.
The request followed the passage the 2007 Aviation Security
Legislation Bill which allowed armed police on flights to meet
international aviation security standards. The Police do not
discuss whether members of the STG, established after the September
11 2001 attacks, currently operate on flights. However, the
Ministry of Transport, responsible for the international air marshal
arrangements, stated that no security officers had been used on
flights. The Ministry is current conducting a review of domestic
flight security after an alleged attempted hijacking of a small
commuter flight in February, in which two pilots received minor
First Hijack Attempt in New Zealand History Fails
--------------------------------------------- ----
17. (U) In February, Somalia-born Asha Ali Abdille, gained entry to
the cockpit of an Eagle Air Jetstream J32 domestic flight. The
33-year old woman was armed with a knife and demanded that the
pilots take the plane - which was only flying the short trip from
Blenheim to Christchurch - to Australia. She also allegedly made
bomb threats. The cockpit crew both suffered injuries in the
confrontation to overpower the woman. One pilot received knife cuts
to his hands and the other a foot injury. Despite the altercation,
both pilots were able to safely land the aircraft at Christchurch
airport where the assailant was arrested by waiting police. All
seven passengers were unharmed. The alleged hijacker is in custody
and has been committed to trial in 2009. She faces a charge of
hijacking, taking an offensive weapon onto an aircraft, and four
charges of wounding or injuring with reckless disregard for safety.

Embassy Wellington Contact

18. (U) Embassy Wellington's point of contact is Political-Economic
Counselor Peggy McKean - ; +64 4 462 6063.


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