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NRT: Just the beginning

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, December 2nd, 2014 - 59 comments
Categories: Spying - Tags: , ,

From I/S at No Right Turn.

Just the beginning

 The Key/Kitteridge Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill isn’t even law yet, and the SIS are already planning their next power grab:

The Prime Minister has signalled the Government will look to introduce much tougher security laws after a review next year.

John Key said the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill, due to be reported back to Parliament today, was just the beginning.

He said a full review of security settings would consider broader changes to intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism.

Mr Key said it would potentially look much further than the current legislation before Parliament.

You got that? 4824-hour warrantless surveillance and the spies being able to stick cameras in people’s bedrooms to gather “intelligence” are “just the beginning”.

This is why it is so important for Labour to oppose the bill: to make clear public disquiet and strip Key of his self-proclaimed “moral mandate” for more spying. Instead, they’recollaborating in it. And this is why they’re useless as an opposition, and will be more useless as a government.

I will not vote for a party which supports spying. Neither should you.


59 comments on “NRT: Just the beginning ”

  1. Chooky 1

    Labour should NOT be supporting this Bill at all!

    ….just as the Greens are NOT….and nor is Winston NZF !

    ….Maori Party?…it is Maori who will most likely fall victims of this law if it is passed…the Maori Party must oppose this Bill

    United Future?…


  2. Macro 2

    No I won’t be voting for a Party that votes for this Bill. I didn’t serve 15 years in the Military for you or me to be spied upon. And former spy agency boss Sir Bruce Ferguson warns caution too:
    “On Radio New Zealand, former GCSB director, Sir Bruce Ferguson also warned of the threats posed by the new laws: “We’ve got to be very, very careful that we are not using the excuse of terrorism to actually erode the very freedoms we defend.””
    So Labour – heads up – you don’t get my vote!

  3. lprent 3

    If Labour and the Greens support this – as unlikely as that seems, they should probably insist that a complete record of all actual terrorist cells in NZ is kept.

    At present, this would have to have Cameron Slater/Lusk/Farrar and their associates at the *only* position on the list. The left should insist that they are specifically listed because of their proven ability to disrupt the political system of NZ.

    But facetiousness aside, I fail to see *any* point in this legislation. I agree with I/S. Labour and everyone else with a conscience should oppose this legislation. We have more than a sufficiency of legislation giving powers to all security agencies to deal with internal issues – and usually the paranoid who appear to populate the security agencies appear to be incapable of using those lawfully.

    To date I haven’t seen a single *valid* reason why we need to grant them more powers. All I have seen are some bigoted fools inflating a particularly viscous group operating in a power vacuum. They tend to fail against any mildly stiff opposition. They simply don’t appear to be more than a propaganda threat.

    I can’t see how stopping young fools from joining them is going to do squat. Any more than I can see how better screening at the security agencies is going to improve their abilities to operate intelligently and lawfully.

    • Karen 3.1

      +1 lprent. I see no justification for pushing through this bill.

      Labour should join the Greens and oppose it but the signals being given are they will support it in it’s amended state.

      • Chooky 3.1.1

        Labour should remember that the Alliance split and went into mortal decline on the issue of Afghanistan….ie i think it was on whether NZ should send troops to Afghanistan

        .. This Bill is going to be a big turn off to many traditional Labour supporters. The Labour Party should be sticking with the other Left parties and NZF on this Bill and not supporting John Key Nact

        ….and also I would like to know what will happen if people find warrantless snoops in their house ( living room /bedroom /bathroom/toilet/wardrobes /attics/ garden/bushes) outfitting it for 24 hour surveillance when they come home from work…will they just say;

        ….”Oh lovely to meet you and would you like a cup of tea?”

        • Chooky

          …are the spooks putting in “24-hour warrantless surveillance” into New Zealanders’ houses and properties going to be armed?

  4. Ovid 4

    I will not vote for a party which supports spying. Neither should you.

    I disagree. I believe there is a place for security services with proper oversight. I will not support wholesale spying or warrentless surveillance within New Zealand’s borders or on New Zealand citizens overseas. I do believe everything else is fair game.

    • Anne 4.1

      My take on the matter too Ovid. And I know better than most what it is like to be on the receiving end of surveillance. I also know how easy it is for information to get into the wrong hands and the damage it can end up doing to people.

      Nevertheless there is a new threat on the horizon and we can argue until we’re blue in the face who is responsible, but we know it exists. To not take precautionary measures is irresponsible, and could result in a tragedy of possibly horrific proportions. We can’t take that risk. But having said that, I will heave a sigh of relief when we finally have a Labour/Green/NZ First (maybe) coalition government because I also believe the risk of abuse will be reduced to zero.

      • adam 4.1.1

        The HUNS are coming. Look at the horses, they will be coming over the horizon, anytime, wait for it…

        Oh please both of you – Ovid and Anne those are both pathetic arguments. Really, fear and threats. Fear is the mind killer, and you think the state is trustworthy. The deep state, as Trotter calls it, has no idea what trust of the people is.

        You’re deluding yourselves, this is nothing more than a power grab by a faction within our so called state. This is looking more and more like some vulgar, casual, tin pot, dictatorship. Not a democracy, if we even had one, after the neoliberal revolution.

        • Chooky

          +100 Adam

        • Anne

          Fear is your word adam. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Any possible threat is probably not imminent. If you read Ovid’s comments properly you would note he was NOT barracking for wholesale surveillance or warrantless spying. I’m not either.

          No doubt you would be one of the first to scream if another foreign initiated terrorist act took place on our shores…. what a useless, incompetent outfit the SIS is… blah, blah, blah. That’s what happened after the Rainbow Warrior bombing in 1985.

          • Chooky

            well given that the French Secret service did the bombing and the British Secret Service knew about it in advance, from some accounts…..how do you know the NZ Secret Service did not know about it in advance?

            …(Green Peace was not flavour of the month for some conservatives )

            It was very fast action and detective work on the part of Detective Inspector Allan Galbraith and the NZ Police that netted the two French agents …not the NZ SIS …so maybe the SIS is pretty useless and compromised anyway




          • Macro

            Anne – Bruce Ferguson in his radio interview said that a warrant can be obtained in a matter of hours if not less. There is NO NEED for this carte blanche unsupervised surveillance. The means to spy on somebody is already there. This is simply fear tactics by the right.
            I’ve just returned from North America where the fear factor is so great you can cut through it! They have hour after hour of fear fed to them on the TV and radio. This is what Key wants here. Fear is great for the Right. People will vote conservatively if they are afraid. Evidenced by the recent US elections. The Republicans almost didn’t have to campaign. They had the media feeding fear for them.
            We have such a small threat of terrorism here in NZ it’s almost non-existent. This legislation is being forced through under the behest of USA – and nothing else.

            • The Murphey

              “This legislation is being forced through under the behest of USA – and nothing else”

              Q. What is PNAC?

              Q. How many ‘core’ members of PNAC are dual citizens?

              Q. How many elected / non-elected members inside the US Administration are dual citizens?

              Q. Who is pulling the strings in NZ?

            • Draco T Bastard


              Unfortunately, fear has always been great electioneering.

        • greywarshark

          get a balance adam and Chooky
          All states, countries, need to have some intelligence system. Operated with intelligence it can be a reality provider and lifesaver but does not have to be in your face as this lot are trying for. However when Labour hasn’t been able to muster itself sufficiently to have the power in parliament then it has to do the best it can. And intelligence will carry on so don’t waste your sweat, cope with it, and keep an eye out for who our true friends are.

      • Olwyn 4.1.2

        Also, from what I understand, National have the support to get this bill through anyway. In which case it may be a better thing to gain greater accountability and stricter limits to its use than to oppose it but have it go through unmodified.

        • Policy Parrot

          I agree with Olwyn here. Now Labour should insist that this bill is not one that would gain assent if it led the government, but the changes brought about by Labour’s agreeing to support this legislation (to give it the bipartisan approval – outmoded FPP concept) have improved this bill significantly, and the legislation will be allowed to expire hopefully shortly into the first term of the next government.

          The changes are:
          – 24 hr rather than 48 hr survelliance without a warrant.
          – Applies to foreign fighters only.
          – Each time a situation arises that requires use of this legislation, a public watchdog is alerted.
          – Passport revocation can be appealed.

          Now this is the type of thing that Labour should be doing to demonstrate it is a credible leader of the next government that takes both the safety, and the rights of New Zealanders seriously.

      • cogito 4.1.3

        “information to get into the wrong hands”

        Correct – and Key’s hands are definitely “wrong” on any number of levels.

        There are certainly external threats to which NZ is not immune, but no-one in their right mind can trust Key’s version of what they may be.

      • Jones 4.1.4

        There is a new threat on the horizon… the NZ Government. How do you take steps against that?

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.5

        There is certainly a place for reasonable precautions. The bill presently going through parliament under urgency is not reasonable.

      • Murray Rawshark 4.1.6

        Ahmed Zaoui might have trouble agreeing with you, Anne. I certainly do.

        The threats on the horizon are the TPPA and this Camera in Every Bedroom Bill.

    • If you’ve followed I/S over at No Right Turn at all, you’ll know that when he says “spying” in this article, he’s using it as a shorthand for “the current type of spying we actually do in New Zealand,” and not necessarily spying in general.

      There is a place for spying. Almost exclusively that place will be monitoring dangerous regimes for New Zealand, but there is a very narrow and defined place where it’s useful. For most other problems, the police already have the tools they need to ensure domestic security.

  5. Chooky 5

    Bomber Bradbury states, and I agree with him

    “The irony for Little is that these powers won’t be used against bloody terrorists because there aren’t any, they will be used to spy on Unions, Maori, Environmentalists, anti-poverty campaigners, TPPA activists and other protest movements”

    . – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/12/02/labour-sell-out-on-24-hour-surveillance-how-easily-led-are-nzers-really/#sthash.nvw7p114.dpuf

    • cogito 5.1

      Bomber makes a very valid point. Key has lost all credibility on matters of security. His only interest is tightening his own grip on power.

    • Murray Rawshark 5.2

      I suspect Little and most of his caucus would be quite happy for the squirrel powers to be used on the groups on Bradbury’s list. Let’s have a look at them from the point of view of a “responsible” opposition.

      Unions – well, Unite is a potential problem, full of communists.
      Maori – look what happened to Tuhoe under Labour.
      Environmentalists – well, crazy nutters who upset his drilling and fracking mates.
      Anti-poverty campaigners – never know what Sue Bradford and her mates might get up to.
      TPPA activists – economic traitors, since Labour will never let anything harmful be signed.

      They are part of the group that runs the same state. Labour are not revolutionary socialists. They might call each other comrade when they’re pissed enough, but I doubt it.

      • BassGuy 5.2.1

        I can’t imagine Nicky Hagar would have fared particularly well under this upcoming “security” bill.

        • Anne

          It’s not the legislation, its the people who are wielding the power who are the problem. They are the ones, who have in the past – and will in the future – abused the powers of the state. Good grief, we’ve just had a book written about some of it. It’s called “Dirty Politics.”

          Labour have been successful in watering down the bill, and I have no doubt as soon as they take over the Treasury Benches they will rescind the legislation and put something more acceptable in it’s place. That is a given.

          • BassGuy

            I think the legislation is the problem.

            I don’t for a moment imagine that such abuses are restricted to a right wing government. Political allegiances can change over the course of a lifetime, patriotism and lobbying can influence actions and opinions.

            A number of others have noted that the existing legislation, if properly used and funded, is sufficient. Even the former GCSB head is speaking out against it, as noted by Macro up at #2.

            I don’t see a significant terrorist threat to this country. I don’t drive to work each day, worrying that the car ahead of me may be loaded with explosives. I drive to work each day worrying that the cyclist who’s meant to give way to me won’t, or a kid might dash out in front of me, or that the fool who’s tailgating me won’t notice that I’m slowing.

            I worry that the CEO at work will nick another few hours from my time sheet or that I might not be able to find a full time job. I worry about making my mortgage payments, and that the warrant of fitness for my car is coming up and I might need to find money for repairs.

            As someone with a chronic respiratory disease, I worry more about dust triggering it than I do a terrorist attack killing me.

            I had a dog try and kill me, when I was much younger. I was terrified of dogs for many years, but I didn’t want legislation restricting others’ right to own them and I was against the law change restricting certain breeds from New Zealand.

            Should terrorists strike, I will take the same position and won’t be standing up front screaming that we should have had more restrictive laws, that more of my freedoms must be taken to save lives.

            Terrorism is about living in mortal terror, and I don’t see why we all should live under armed guard and leather boot, forever trembling, because someone might detonate a bomb and harm me.

            • Anne

              A number of others have noted that the existing legislation, if properly used and funded, is sufficient. Even the former GCSB head is speaking out against it, as noted by Macro up at #2.

              Yep. Couldn’t agree more. As for Sir Bruce Ferguson, I have some knowledge of him from his days in the Air-Force (late 80s/early 90s) and I have a great deal of respect for him.

              I’m a bit sick of people charging me (essentially) with ‘over-reaction’ when all I’m doing is pointing out the reality of the situation. That is, this govt, is going to pass legislation whether we like it or not. Isn’t it better to have Labour force a watering down of the more draconian measures in the meantime. When they’re in govt., they can conduct a thorough review of every aspect of the security services with a view to tightening up the law so it will be difficult for a future regime to abuse the powers of the state.

              Commonsense in my book, and I have more trust in Andrew Little being able to achieve such an objective than anyone else.

              • BassGuy

                Hopefully you haven’t got the impression that I’m charging you with that – it wasn’t my intention to and if I did, I offer my apologies.

                Come to think of it, I probably could have summed up my position more readily by saying “I think the existing laws are fine,” rather than my wall-of-text there.

  6. A Voter 6

    Yes there should be no compromise over this “unwarranted ” surveillance
    These people like Key who have enjoyed the security of the top order to steal and manipulate economies and have corporate secrecy upheld by govts like Bush Thatcher Reagan and Blair over the last 30yrs are running scared because ordinary people can access far more information about them and are not as easily conned when it comes to accepting the validity of their govts actions
    They fail to realize that this is a democracy not an autocracy and you need to prove that what you do to citizens is warranted and recorded in a manner that can be represented in a court of law or else you might as well call it a dictatorship

  7. seeker 7

    Michelle Boag was nearly in tears on Q&A (Sun.30 Nov.) whilst describing the need for this law change as she was on the board of Mt. Eden cricket ground and they could be in the line of fire in February when there is a major international match to be played there. She said the law HAD to be changed before Christmas to be in place in time for protection for her and others. No wonder key is rushing this through.

  8. Atiawa 8

    A month ago I cast a vote favouring Andrew Little to lead the Labour party. I did so for a variety of reasons. I trust the man to lead was one. I know him to be sincere is another and he isn’t naive is another
    Just over two weeks into the job I remain pleased with my choice.
    If Little believed for a second that the new law would be used for anything other then its intended purpose and its proven necessity he would have opposed.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1


      Crips vs Bloods.

    • Anne 8.2

      If Little believed for a second that the new law would be used for anything other then its intended purpose and its proven necessity he would have opposed.

      In a nutshell Atiawa.

    • Olwyn 8.3

      I agree Atiawa and Anne.

    • tc 8.4

      I disagree, little is picking his battles wisely.

      Key wants this to tighten his grip as instructed and it’s more a case of give em enough rope as Johnny has shown he treats security as just another tool to be used as desired.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.5

      If Little believed for a second that the new law would be used for anything other then its intended purpose and its proven necessity he would have opposed.

      Oh FFS, the naivety is stunning. Anyone who is a political dissenter is in the line up to be considered a terrorist. Anyone who disrupts corporate or banking activity by protest or other action is in the line up to be considered a terrorist.

      How do I know this?

      Because that is what the US has done to Occupy protestors, it is what the US has done/did to the likes of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, John Kiriaku, Aaron Swartz, James Risen, Glenn Greenwald and many more.

      Oh and that’s the US you say. Look at what the NZ govt did in the Urewera Raids. Look at what the NZ govt did to Kim Dotcom.

      This bloody set of politicians, Key, Little whoever will be gone in a few years and we will still be stuck with these security and surveillance state laws.

      • Chooky 8.5.1

        +100 CR…except I hope the Greens and NZF and Mana and the people of New Zealand will have repealed the laws

        ….and isnt it ironic.?!…once again Winston is proving to be to the Left of the Labour Party and a defender of human rights and democracy for all ethnic New Zealanders

      • Marksman33 8.5.2


  9. Penny Bright 9

    Where in the Regulatory Impact Statement accompanying the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Legislation does it mention an increased terrorist threat arising from the Cricket World Cup to be held in NEW ZEALAND???

    Beware the SPIN being promoted from the likes of Mischele Boag …..

    Penny Bright

  10. Colonial Rawshark 10

    There is no real operational advantage in giving our security agencies even more unaccountable powers. Which you know will be used against our own citizens, politicians, bloggers etc especially in the form of ‘fishing expeditions’.

    Is the Govt really that concerned that a requirement for a judicial warrant might delay critical surveillance by a day or two in some kind of “24” Jack Bauer life or death scenario?

    Well even if you believe that utter fictional BS, just get a few extra fucking judges on to the bench, pay them an extra allowance, and put them on rotating duty to be available 24/7 to review and sign applications for intelligence warrants. The expectation that they get the call, they get the docs faxed or emailed to them, and they have 90 minutes to go through it and approve/decline the warrant. How fucking hard is that. The SIS director may order the surveillance all in place and started first, but if the warrant is declined all recordings and target data gathered to that point must be sealed or destroyed. What is so fucking hard about that.

    FFS this is how a liberal democracy dies, by its left wingers nodding sagely and agreeing with each other that these emergency legal powers are all very well considered and hence we should support them.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.1

      + a few googleplexes. Quite a few.
      The left wingers taking that approach have a great history which includes the chatterati of the Berlin cafés, who thought people in funny uniforms could never be a danger.
      FFS, how far does Key have to go before Labourites will stand up on their back legs and say NO PASSARAN!

    • Olwyn 10.2

      Going back over a few comments, it is probably fairer to say that from what I have so far seen, I trust Andrew Little to act in good faith. Moreover, I do not give up on politicians when they don’t do exactly as I would prescribe on all occasions. And as I have said earlier it may be better to agree to the bill with modifications than to register your objection to it but have it go through anyway, without the modifications. As least now there are more restrictions on its use, and it ends with this term of government.

      • Chooky 10.2.1

        Well Key is thanking Andrew Little and the Labour Party and using their support to endorse his Bill for unwarranted surveillance on New Zealanders ( Morning Report)….are you happy about this?…

        …and how do we know that the unwarranted videoed surveillance wont be passed on, or surreptitiously find its way, to the Americans or the Israelis …..or Cameron Slater?

        How do we know the unwarranted videoed surveillance will be carried out by New Zealand SIS? …and not contracted out to eg Americans or Israeli contractors ? …or private NZ contractors? …eg goat shooter Cameron Slater

        • Olwyn

          Well, according to the piece on it in Stuff, the unwarranted surveillance will be more restricted than you suggest:

          “Labour has ensured that all searches on potential terrorist activity will require a warrant except in cases of urgent and extreme risk.

          “Even in these circumstances, the director of the Security and Intelligence Service [SIS] will be required to immediately notify the commissioner of warrants and the inspector-general of intelligence, and a warrant obtained within 24 hours, not the originally proposed 48 hours,” Little said.

          and “Labour remains adamant these powers should only be used when New Zealanders are at risk from terror attacks and not as a means to broaden general spy powers.”


          So at least Labour has a basis for holding National to account if the limits are not adhered to, and as I have said, National would have even more leeway if Labour had ineffectively voted against the bill as it stood. I must admit, however, that Andrea Vance agrees with you, and thinks that they would have given the same concessions to their coalition partners, without Labour’s help:


      • Anne 10.2.2


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