Of Threats and Responses

by Salacious Crumb

It was was reported today that Glenn Greenwald is here as as a paid participant in Kim Dotcom’s desperate attempts to influence the election. Greenwald is quoted as saying that the New Zealand Government is conducting mass surveillance on its people as part of the 5 Eyes Intelligence Network.

This is rightly refuted by the Prime Minister.

However, what is disturbing is the response of the man who would be Prime Minister, David Cunliffe.

In his response to questions on the matter, he has politicised not only our intelligence agencies and national security capabilities, but the relationship with our security allies. All based on the allegations made by a foreigner. A man who until now, had never been to New Zealand, let alone lived here.

Cunliffe is on record stating that all New Zealanders have a right to privacy, something I am sure will resonate loudly on this blog site.

There are a few things worth noting in regard to this.

Cunliffe has stated that a government he leads will conduct a review of our intelligence agencies, look to repeal the GCSB Act Amendment on basis that this would greater protect the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders.


And here is the real irony. This legislation was introduced as a result of the previous Labour Governments legislation on individual surveillance, legislation, which though correct in its intent, was shown to be flawed in its interpretation during the Dotcom case. The recent amendment not only corrected this up but introduced greater oversight than the previous government had allowed.

A government David Cunliffe was a member of. For nine years.

Cunliffe also hinted that his government would look to reign in existing relationships with our intelligence allies and that this is somehow “putting New Zealand’s needs first”.

National security should never be the play things of politicians and especially would-be leaders. It is a serious business with very serious outcomes.

Our friends across the Tasman are at this moment on a “High Alert” regarding domestic terrorism. Their intelligence agencies (and that of their allies) are working frantically to identify and neutralise threats to their citizens before tragic events occur.

It is only a matter of time before New Zealand has similar threats to deal with. Does Cunliffe really believe increasing the risk to national security is a vote winner let alone in the best interests of New Zealand?

Furthermore, for the leader of our main opposition party during an election campaign, to openly question the role and capabilities of our intelligence agencies and further suggest a pull back in relations with our allies all because the rights and privacy of New Zealanders are somehow at risk from their government would be laughable were it not so dangerous.

It is telling that Labour’s last Prime Minister, Helen Clark, demonstrated considerable integrity when it came to the handling of the agencies charged with security intelligence.

She displayed the required commitment to national security by never openly discussing issues pertaining to it or the agencies tasked with ensuring it.

David Cunliffe has now shown that on matters of such gravitas, he is ill equipped. That his own perceived image on such matters is of greater importance and that the ability to make hard decisions in the nations interest are beyond the allowances of his ego.

Certainly not the actions that one would expect of a nations leader.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.