Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green): We have come a long way in the saga of the Intelligence and Security Bill that is before us in this final reading. The Committee of the whole House did a fine job last week in scrutinising the draft legislation with its quite complex redraft of sections and its compelling political judgments that surrounded some of the issues involved. The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee had also done a good job in debating and discussing the draft in its different stages.
2. METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: Tu ai a ia i runga i te mana o ngā whakataunga katoa o tāna Kāwanatanga?
[Does he stand by all of his Government's decisions?]
Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH (Prime Minister): Yes.
Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. The Greens are supporting the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill.
Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green): The Green Party opposes the New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill. We respect the intention of the Government, and especially the Attorney-General, the Hon Chris Finlayson, and also the reviewers whose report underpinned the legislation. We acknowledge, though not without critical scrutiny, the changing global context in which the report and the legislation are conceived. The issue is this: what mix of constitutional principles is optimal for our nation at any one time? In that respect, my party takes a different position from the Government.
The Green Party will not support new spy legislation proposed by the Government yesterday.
The New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill will bring spy legislation under one single Act, breaching the traditional demarcation between the Government Security Communications Bureau (GCSB) and the Security Intelligence Service (SIS). It will expand the powers of the GCSB, allowing it to spy on New Zealanders.
The review of the Search and Surveillance Act should be focused on strengthening Kiwis’ rights, not extending dodgy surveillance powers, the Green Party said today.
This afternoon National announced the terms for the mandatory review of the Search and Surveillance Act by the Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission, which will report back to the Government on whether the law is fit for purpose. The Act gave Police and a laundry list of other agencies power to covertly record conversations and install video cameras in private spaces.
The Green Party is concerned that another report into actions of the spy agencies show them acting outside their own policies.
The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) has found that information given to the SIS to vet people for jobs is also being used, in some cases, without permission, for activities such as counter-intelligence. The report has also found that there were a large number of people with access to the confidential information and that there was inadequate recording of who accesses the information.
John Key has many questions to answer at his post cabinet meeting today, after refusing this morning to provide key information to back up his claims about ‘jihadi brides”, the Green Party said today.
The Green Party has revealed that the Prime Minister knew on May 25 2015 - six months prior to first introducing the notion of Kiwi “jihadi brides” at the December Select Committee hearing - that no women had left New Zealand to join fighters in the Middle East.
The Green Party can reveal that John Key has known since May 2015 that no women left New Zealand to go to the Middle East as so called “jihadi brides”, making the damage he inflicted on Islamic women even more calculating.
The Prime Minister deliberately misled the New Zealand public into believing women had left New Zealand to join terrorist groups and become what he described as “jihadi Brides”, the Green Party says.
In Parliament today, Government Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed the Prime Minister knew, before the Intelligence and Security Committee hearing in December 2015, that no Kiwi women had left New Zealand to become “jihadi brides”.