Labour: don’t trust the government

via RNZ

via RNZ

Parliament will begin a wider review of the security and intelligence agencies in 2015 following rushed law changes to clamp down on freedom fighters.

Recent publicity and fears surrounding beheadings and threats by the jihadist group Islamic State have resulted in new restrictions on individual freedoms.

Really?   In a practical sense?   Anyone not been able to go to the dairy?   Or play golf?   What are these freedoms that have been restricted?  

Before the middle of the year, the Government will begin a full review of security settings, and will consider broader changes to intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism.

Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer said it was a balancing act.

“We have to make sure that where we need to counter those threats, that the way that we do it is very much restricted to those individuals and it doesn’t encroach on other people’s privacy and that people don’t fear that.”

But Mr Shearer said a review of the temporary laws that have just been passed was appropriate before new ones were introduced.

He said there was an expectation that it was a one-way street.

“That you just keep on chipping away and chipping away at people’s human rights. The tyranny of small choices – we make a little choice here, we make a little choice there – and we don’t go back and review whether the security agencies need this power and I think that’s a really important thing to do.”

As we saw earlier today, the threat of our own government to our people pales into insignificance compared to the threat we face from people, and governments outside of this country.

National MP Mark Mitchell, who is the chair of Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and trade committee, agreed there needed to be a balance between protecting privacy and security.

People should be able to move around the country with as little risk as possible of being involved in some type of terror act, he said.

“I want personally to guard our human rights. We’ve got an extremely transparent system and we’re continuing to make it more transparent.

“But one of the basic human rights that I think that we should all fight for and be entitled to is to guard and protect ourselves from acts of terrorism.

“Sometimes governments have to make decisions and do things that continue to put those protections in place.”

However, Green Party global affairs and defence spokesperson Kennedy Graham said intrusive security measures were not warranted or justified.

These people need their heads read.  We’re talking about warrantless video surveillance on people as long as the warrant is being prepared at the same time before the usual security oversight officials, and the ability to cancel a passport.

Cancelling a passport isn’t the same as revoking citizenship.  Anyone can simply apply for another passport.

These are the “civil liberties” that Labour and the Greens want you to rise up about, because the New Zealand security services are not trusted to make good choices in the protection of all of us.

The Government was expecting the new visual surveillance powers would only be used half a dozen times a year, if that.

There appears to be zero pragmatism about this.  Which makes you wonder:  why are the Labour and Green parties so terribly keen to constantly undermine our security services?



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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.