John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today.
On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as the Islamic State, and this is why he is considering urgent law change. However, it is already illegal to participate in a terrorist group under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.
“Either John Key does not know the law of New Zealand or he is purposefully misleading the public,” said Green Party immigration spokesperson Jan Logie.
“The Islamic State has been deemed a terrorist organisation by the United Nations; this makes them a terrorist organisation in New Zealand.
“Under the Terrorism Suppression Act, it is illegal to participate in a terrorist group.
“The law in New Zealand is black and white on this issue and John Key is purposefully misleading the public. The onus is now on him to prove that the law isn’t working in New Zealand and why there is an urgent need to change.
“John Key’s sudden push to change the passport law must also be questioned.
“We need hard evidence, not baseless assertions, to justify impinging on New Zealanders’ right to travel abroad. So far the Prime Minister hasn’t produced a shred of evidence to back his claims for an urgent law change.
“A domestic conflict in another part of the world is not sufficient grounds for New Zealand to change the civil liberties of our citizens without proper public consultation.
“There are three distinct issues – firstly, do our terrorism law need to be changed; secondly, do our passport laws need to be changed; and thirdly, should we be getting involved in the current Middle East situation?
“John Key is trying to confuse all of these issues and get away with changing laws under urgency without providing proof for any of his assertions.
“The Green Party reiterates the need for proper public consultation and also proof that current laws are inadequate enough to justify trampling all over our basic rights,” said Ms Logie.