December 10, 2014
Little justifies spy bill cave in
New Labour leader Andrew Little says his caucus accepts that there are risks in New Zealand from international extremists that justify giving the Security Intelligence service new powers.
The Maori Party, Greens and New Zealand First voted against the bill, which was rushed through under urgency .
MPs pointed out the previous anti-terror laws had been used against Maori and social justice advocates rather than terrorists.
Labour voted in favour after negotiating in the select committee for changes, including reducing the window for warrantless surveillance from 48 hours to 24.
" We’re satisfied that it will be used in pretty rare and extreme circumstances and we also wanted to make sure that there are proper safeguards on it, which is what we argued for. David Shearer and Phil Goff did an excellent job in the select committee. We have now got the oversight of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security. She has proven that she is a genuinely independent office when it comes to the prime minister and the SIS and the rest " he says.
Andrew Little says Labour won’t accept a repeat of the urgency when a bigger review of security legislation is done next year.
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