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APEC Bill overreaches on gun liberalisation

The Green Party is opposing a Bill that provides for expanded powers for NZ police and foreign security agents, including powers to import and use restricted guns during the APEC summit in 2021, spokesperson for Justice Golriz Ghahraman said today.

“New Zealand’s existing laws should be enough to provide for security of visitors during APEC. We should prioritise the rights and security of the New Zealand public rather than expand powers that put us at risk. 

“We know that both here and overseas, force is most commonly used against persons of colour, so certain communities are going to be put at most risk. 

“There’s no need to change which guns are allowed in New Zealand or how restricted firearms are imported. 

“At a time that we’re reforming our domestic gun laws it doesn’t make sense to move the other way for this meeting. 

“The Bill also allows for restrictions on movement of people living in private apartment blocks and areas being used by APEC visitors, and raises privacy concerns due to the authorisation of wireless electronic countermeasure (W-ECM) technology, a form of surveillance that foreign intelligence services would be allowed to use against the public here. 

“Unfortunately Governments have allowed these sorts of exceptions in the past and it’s become part and parcel of hosting these meetings.

“We will be opposing this Bill at first reading today.”