So, now the politicians wake up to our security issues

Martin Place gunman Sheik Man Haron Monis

Martin Place gunman Sheik Man Haron Monis

The politicians seem to have woken up to the problems facing New Zealand in the face of Islamic terrorism.

As the Police wrap up the scene in Martin Place Sydney after a nutter Muslim cleric from Iran who was on bail as accessory to murder held hostages at gunpoint they are now coming forward show their support behind recent legislation.

The MP who chaired the anti-terrorist legislation rushed through Parliament last week, Mike 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.”

Labour leader Andrew Little, who also supported the new powers, said the sorts of risks the law dealt with “are real”.

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.”

And what of Russel Norman and Winston Peters and the Maori party?

They voted against the legislation.

Reporters should go shove cameras in their faces.

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.

“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.”

Andrew Little will be getting a phone call from Helen Clark with that statement.

We do not live in a benign environment any longer and it is only a matter of time before the same thing happens here.

 

– Audrey Young, NZ Herald


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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.

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