Spy laws trumping human rights

Basic human rights of New Zealanders are taking a backseat under the National Government’s proposed new spy laws, the Green Party said today.

Basic human rights of New Zealanders are taking a backseat under the National Government’s proposed new spy laws, the Green Party said today.

The Prime Minister yesterday said he intended to increase the Security Intelligence Service’s (SIS) spying powers. The law changes will allow the SIS to carry out video surveillance on private property for two days without a warrant.

“John Key is using a war overseas to increase spying in New Zealand without giving a real case as to why the SIS needs increased spying powers here,” said Green Party human rights spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“John Key needs to show that there is a real need for the SIS to be allowed to take videos in our homes without our knowledge and without a warrant.

“If these laws are pushed through, we want to see the Human Rights Commission playing an active role in monitoring the outcomes of these warrants.

“John Key failed to properly oversee our spy agencies and they broke the law, so we have no reason to trust him or the agencies, which is why they need oversight.

“The National Government should listen very carefully at Select Committee to the civil liberties experts, legal opinions and the human rights advocates in this country.

“Any removal of civil and political rights needs to be a citizens’ consensus, not a politically imposed reduction of rights.

“The Government cannot be trusted to be left to its own devices; our human rights are far too precious,” said Ms Delahunty.

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