Face of the day


Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell is well qualified to have an informed opinion on the anti-terrorist legislation. If he is 100% behind it, then I feel confident that it was the right thing to do.


The MP who chaired the anti-terrorist legislation rushed through Parliament last week, Mark Mitchell, says the bill was “100 per cent” justified.

And he said he had had messages yesterday thanking him for the bill in light of the Sydney hostage crisis.

“It becomes a lot more real for people when it’s three hours across the ditch.”

…Mr Mitchell, a former security specialist who ran a company in the Middle East for 10 years, said New Zealand was not immune.”We don’t have some sort of magic inoculation that means we couldn’t be exposed to some sort of extremist actions here.”

…Mr Mitchell said one thing he had learned after dealing with terrorists’ acts for a decade was that they had become good at adapting and changing tactics to defeat measures taken by countries to mitigate risk.

“You do have to be quite flexible and be able to move quickly and take all the measures we need to prevent that from happening.”

The bill followed advice from New Zealand security agencies about Isis (Islamic State) recruiting foreign supporters through social media.

Isis enlists recruits to undertake local acts of terrorism or join its ranks in Syria or Iraq, where it has engaged in mass killings and some beheadings in its bid to set up a caliphate, a state ruled by a single leader under Islamic law.

Passed with the support of Labour, the legislation gave the Security Intelligence Service extra powers including warrantless surveillance for 24 hours and the ability to cancel passports for up to three years.

Mr Little said last night that it was not yet known whether the Sydney crisis involved somebody connected to a network, or was a lone person or whether it was someone with mental health issues. “But the reality is that the sort of risks that the legislation is designed to deal with are real.

Credit where credit is due. Thank goodness Andrew Little is taking this seriously rather than political point scoring like the Green Taliban. A government’s job is to protect its citizens and as leader of the opposition I am glad that Little is giving National his support.

“Even though Australia’s security assessment is higher than ours, nevertheless the world is not a benign place even down this end of the globe and we shouldn’t assume that it is.”

– NZ Herald

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