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John Key yet to produce case for rushed terror law changes

John Key has not made a case for rushing through counter-terrorism laws that infringe significantly on the rights of New Zealanders, the Green Party said today.

A draft of the new counter-terrorism laws, the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill, was made public yesterday.  The Bill proposes wide ranging changes that compromise the privacy and civil liberties of New Zealanders.

“There has been no compelling evidence put forward by the National Government for why these changes need to be rushed through without proper public consultation,” said Green Party Security Intelligence Service (SIS) spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“John Key has constantly referred to the review and top-line advice he has received but, as of yet, he has not produced the report from the review or released this advice.

“The Minister in charge of the SIS, Chris Finlayson, believes that a number of people the Government watches are just ‘juvenile fantasists’.

“The proposed law has several flaws, and pushing it through without proper scrutiny will result in poor decision-making.

“We have seen poor intelligence legislation result in illegal activities in the past; we don’t want a repeat of that.

“The Government did not reveal any significant details of the legislation until it was leaked yesterday; this is not a positive sign of a government seeking broad public support.

“New Zealanders’ basic civil liberties are being compromised, and the public deserves to know why they must sacrifice their privacy rights before any new legislation is passed,” said Dr Graham.