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Spy vs Us

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, August 16th, 2016 - 135 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

No Right Turn on National’s next step in spying on NZers.

Against domestic spying.

Last year, National held a strapped-chicken review into “our” intelligence agencies. In March, it duly reported back with the expected results, recommending more money, more powers, and fewer legal restraints for the spies. One of their core recommendations was to remove the longstanding prohibition on the GCSB spying domesticly. And today, it looks like the government is going to introduce legislation to do that.

We should not be doing this. The techniques used by the GCSB in collecting foreign intelligence – full-take collection of entire countries’ internet and telephone communications feeds – are mass surveillance. The justification for using them for foreign intelligence is tenuous – we’re not at war, and we simply have no enemies which justify such extreme action. The idea of doing it to New Zealanders, in peacetime, is simply monstrous. It turns us into a mass-surveillance society, and no amount of GCSB bullshit about how its not “surveillance” until they pick your data out of the feed and look at it changes that.

Despite the best efforts of the spy agencies to convince us otherwise, New Zealand faces no credible domestic or external threats. None whatsoever. And insofar as we have transnational criminals and potentially violent extremists, they’re jobs for the police. We have no need for spy agencies, and absolutely no need to let them spy on every aspect of our lives as proposed.

Instead of granting the GCSB more powers, we should be shutting them down. Disestablish the agency, sack all their staff, and throw all their gear and records into a volcano. Make New Zealand a Five Eyes-Free Zone, rather than another US-run surveillance state.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering: will Labour oppose this? Will they repeal these changes if National rams it through with Winston’s votes? And if not, what fucking good are they?

RadioNZ coverage and article New spy laws introduced to Parliament

135 comments on “Spy vs Us ”

  1. Bill 1

    So now they’ll get to do what they were already doing without having to deny that they’re doing it – apart from neither confirming nor denying what they’re doing on the grounds that operational matters are always neither confirmed nor denied.

    I’d like to say that I expect Labour to make a lot of fucking noise about this. But…

    • Richard Christie 1.1

      I’d like to say that I expect Labour to make a lot of fucking noise about this. But…

      … they won’t.

      • Chris 1.1.1

        They’re more likely to support it.

      • Enough is Enough 1.1.2

        Labour pledge to repeal this

        • Chris

          Why the heck did they vote to send it to the select committee, then? It’s something they’ve often done then almost in the same breath say they’ll repeal it if passed. Would be interesting to know how much bad legislation Labour says it opposed could’ve been stopped if it hadn’t supported it to the select committee stage in the first place.

      • mosa 1.1.3

        If Labour supports this then we really have become a ONE PARTY STATE.
        Christ Key, the right wing and the Yanks cant believe how easy its all been with Labour standing over the dead body of our once proud and fiercely independent country.
        All sorted without even a whimper, and the Americans finally getting their revenge and the traitors that have allowed them too do it.
        2008 marked the end of our country and any opposition to the National led government.
        We have turned a corner and there is no going back.

    • Leftie 1.2

      But isn’t that what John key always does to cover himself and his activities, makes whats been illegal, legal?

  2. weka 2

    Andrea Vance ‏@avancenz 6h6 hours ago

    But …Bill does not define what national security is (so it can be “adaptive”)

    Andrea Vance ‏@avancenz 6h6 hours ago

    Little says: “definition is too broad and must be narrowed down to actual threats to security and government” #rtpt

    Andrea Vance ‏@avancenz 6h6 hours ago

    Labour is supporting bill to 1st reading but has issues with national security definition

  3. Leftie 3

    Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill

    Posted by Andrew Little on August 15, 2016

    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.

    “The legislation controlling the work and scope of New Zealand’s Intelligence and Security agencies needs to be updated so they can adapt to a rapidly changing environment and new challenges. However this must be balanced with the privacy and rights of all New Zealanders.

    “The Cullen Reddy Review showed that amending legislation is necessary. While we will support the Bill at first reading, it does not get the balance quite right. I have confidence changes can be made at select committee which is why Labour will support the Bill at first reading.

    “There are concerns in the Bill that Labour wants to see addressed. The definition of National Security must be amended at Select Committee following a national debate. At present the definition is too broad and must be narrowed down to actual threats to security and government.

    “It is also concerning that the legislation appears to have ignored a number of the protections for personal information suggested by the Cullen Reddy Review. These are vital and must be a part of the legislation. In today’s world it is too easy to ignore privacy concerns and we have seen what happens in the past when protections aren’t clear.

    “Labour is supporting the Bill through its first reading in good faith that these changes can be made. These will result in a better piece of law that gets the balance between security and privacy right,” says Andrew Little.

    <a href="http://www.labour.org.nz/better_balance_needed_in_intelligence_bill

  4. adam 4

    I wonder if people will wake up to the fact we have no left wing in New Zealand at this point?

    People here and elsewhere can bang on about how left they are, how much we need a change of government how much better it will be under a labour led government.

    I’m calling B.S.

    Any support of the extension of the state to pry into people’s lives means you are a authoritarian wingnut.

    This starts making the stasi look down right civil.

    I hope the libertarians start kicking up a stink, but I doubt it – seems their boy Rimmer is supporting this too.

    • Chris 4.1

      “Labour is supporting bill to 1st reading but has issues with national security definition…”

      Labour sending the perfect message yet again. Who said a political party can’t be all things to all people?

      Bill gets tabled. Labour squawks about how bad it is but supports it to select committee stage. Labour squawks more about how bad it is then opposes at final reading. Bill passed. Labour gets flak. Labour says wasn’t our fault because we didn’t support it. Labour all things to all people. Easy. Vote for us.

  5. Observer Tokoroa 5


    . I can imagine John and Bronagh spying on the homeless people in their cars. The laughs and the fun they will get from it.
    . Also, think of the kudos they will get from John’s American friends for degrading the NZ population ! Not to mention their Asian friends. Saudis too.

    But the great problem with Computer Databases is that anyone who wants to, can bust into them. So we shouldn’t be surprised if we see our favorite Politicians and their families exposed from time to time.

    The National Party, The Act Party, The Maori Party, The United Future Party – will be so pleased with themselves.

    . Stasi mob resurrected

    • Leftie 5.1

      +1 Observer Tokoroa.

    • save nz 5.2

      +2 Observer – this is a government that just lets USA put their own security on our telecoms and doesn’t raise a peep when China is supplying our building craze (for immigrants) with their own dodgy steel.

      What about a government that actually believes in keeping NZ neutral and it’s sovereign in tact?

      What about having friends in Europe, the UN, the Pacific and so forth?

      Our governments blind and blundering antics seem to be putting more friction between two natural super powers who want very different things. Our government wants trade with China, USA’s benevolence and migrant money to pretend all is well in our economy. To achieve this they are sacrificing the public’s future, to bear all the negative outcomes from that poor decision making while the Natz personally benefit like Key and Collins financially, and keeping them in power.

      The South China Sea, incident is just the start of the blundering that this uneasy relationships will prove to be and our economy by putting too many eggs in the US and China basket (that don’t fit together) will constrain the Government, our environment and our economy, in too many ways to count.

  6. D'Esterre 6

    Adam: “I wonder if people will wake up to the fact we have no left wing in New Zealand at this point?”

    We haven’t had a left-wing government here since the Muldoon government lost power in 1984. Of course there is still a left-wing constituency, but by and large it either isn’t part of Labour or Green membership, or if it is, it hasn’t an effective voice.

    “This starts making the stasi look down right civil.”

    We’d have to go a lot further down the rabbit hole of surveillance to get to the level of the Stasi’s intrusiveness. And that in a regime conventionally thought of as left-wing, too. Curious…

    People will support this – if in fact they do – because they’re in thrall to government propaganda about terrorists lurking in the undergrowth, and anti-Russian rhetoric of “the dreaded Putin’s going to attack” sort. Bloody nonsense, of course, on both counts.

    • adam 6.1

      Authoritarians, either left or right – are scum in my opinion D’Esterre.

      I don’t think it is any mistake to use the image of the stasi, whilst intrusive – it was the threat of intrusion and fear which kept people in fear of them. I remember talking to a east german guy in the late 90’s in Aussie. He said it was the idea of the stasi, and their ability to look completely into your life which was power they had. It was an open secret – which is another reason why I’m more than happy to make the comparison.

      As for a left wing constituency – I’m sure there is, and they are not party of labour, and nor the greens. I think they have given up on the liberal elites who talk the talk, but then walk the neocon/neolib walk.

  7. Wensleydale 7

    “Good evening, London.

    Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, where upon important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

    There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

    How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. They were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

    Last night, I sought to end that silence. Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words; they are perspectives.

    So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”

  8. NZJester 8

    Actually you are wrong, this country does face a big domestic threat to our freedom and the wellbeing of people in New Zealand.
    That treat is called The National Party Government!

    • Puckish Rogue 8.1

      If National is the treat then is it Labour or the Greens that are the trick?

      • Leftie 8.1.1

        But it is National that is the current government.

        • Puckish Rogue

          And will be until 2020 at least 🙂

          • Leftie

            Then again, you could be wrong. Or do you think John key can get away with rigging the election again Puckish Rogue?

          • Robert Guyton

            Puckish Rogue repeating, over and over, “Labour will fail, you are going to lose” just as he has done ad nauseum for a long time now here on The Standard. Water, he believes, will wear away the rock and he is right. When exposed for his simple but effective attack of the confidence of Labour supporters here, he simply eases back for a while and “joins in the debate” as though he wasn’t working to a formula. But he is. “Labour will fail, you are going to lose” he whispers, Worm-like, in our ears.

      • reason 8.1.2

        The reason for information in the book Dirty Politics becoming public knowledge :

        “In January 2014, WhaleOil was hacked some time after he posted a blog post with the headline “Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour.” Three other children in this family had already been killed in accidents and the post provoked a ‘furious public reaction’.” ……….

        And just one of the disgusting things related to that hack and exposed in the book ….

        While normal people thought John Keys text and cellphone buddy slug boy slater was a insensitive creep ….. Key was actually communicating and commiserating with slater …… the dead boys mother was a “bitch” who had heckled him at the hollowness and insincerity of Keys promises to the dead pike river miners familys ….

        One of the mothers other dead boys was a young worker at the poorly regulated death trap which the pike river mine was …………


        Puckish calling Hager sleazy is like a rapist calling litter-bugs scum ….

        And I bet Nicky does not litter ……………

        We should also thank Puckish for reminding us that under national people like Hager get raided and searched illegally ………………… and the roastbuster types never get raided or searched at all ….. they get a facebook page and make new zealand famous

    • Leftie 8.2

      Well said NZJester.

  9. Garibaldi 9

    Well spoken by nrt. “what fucking good are they?” This is the crucial question for those of us on the Left watching Labour.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    If the national interest includes economic and social well-being can we expect surveillance at Cabinet Club? How about Cabinet meetings?

  11. One Anonymous Bloke 11

    As I’ve said before, spying is a military activity. Military operations against civilians in peacetime are war crimes.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      Spying is not exclusively a military action, no matter what you might like to think.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        When done by the state it is.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Also incorrect, you need to stop letting your emotions run your arguements

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            What do you understand by the term “full spectrum dominance”?

            Limited surveillance tools are available to Police under limited circumstances, authorised by the courts. Are you going to pretend some sort of equivalence here?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Intelligence gathering/espionage/spying whatever you want to call it is not always a military action even when done by the government

              There are legit reasons why the state spys and its not always for military reasons

              Is that so hard to understand?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Please don’t waste your time trying to convince me that spying is a legitimate activity: of course it is, when it’s done for military reasons.

                What are your civilian “legitimate” examples?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  What are your civilian “legitimate” examples?

                  Well sure, Chinas empire building in the pacific is a very good reason for NZ to gather intelligence on what’s happening in the South Pacific

                  NZ is an agricultural based economy so it’d be remiss of any NZ government not to try to find out what are our competitors are up to see if NZ can gain an advantage

                  Or how about someone enters NZ on a passport but it raises alarms and maybe the country we request information from doesn’t play ball (for whatever reason) I’d expect the NZ government to get as much information as they can

                  All of which is happening right now and has been happening for decades

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    All three of your examples are actions against citizens of other countries.

                    I can assure you that when our government takes action against citizens of other countries – stealing their intellectual property for example, that is not regarded as a friendly civilian act.

                    What are your domestic civilian examples?

                    PS: I said please, you persisted. Can you address the point?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Do you mean, the government gathering information on civilians, a civilian gathering information on other civilians or a civilian gathering information on the government?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No. “Gathering information” is something the diplomatic service can do. Or anyone. Go to the trade show. Pick up the phone. Ask for a factory tour.

                      Illegal acts, on foreign soil, commissioned by the government are acts of hostility, ie: “military”.

                      Hence the separation between “civilian” and “military”.

                      When civilians get caught doing it, it’s a Police matter. Am I getting through yet?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Sure I agree with you on this, hostile yes but war crimes no and no I have no problem with NZ doing this

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Whereas I think that if the government commits hostile acts against NZ citizens, that warrants a Police investigation.

                      I have this quaint notion about the “separation of powers”. Don’t muddle your head about it, it’s just some Lefty thing.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      If being the key word here and if there is a reason the GCSB would want to gather information on someone then as long as they follow the rules laid down I don’t have an issue with it

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Spying on is not “gathering”. Who are you fooling with these sanitary euphemisms for blackmail and theft?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Meh, you like to use loaded terms like spying when all spying is information gathering

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sad that you find empty words so convincing.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Sad that you don’t see that the rules in place are stronger and have placed more control over NZs spy organisations then they’ve ever been

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The gang “responsible” for oversight can’t lie straight in bed and are adept at avoiding personal responsibility. Your assurances are worthless, like theirs.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      That may be but its going to be business as usual:


                • Bob

                  “What are your civilian “legitimate” examples?”
                  How about when someone threatens to add 1080 to baby powder?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    What actually happened: the Police investigate, gather evidence, use it to get a warrant, lay charges, get a guilty verdict, then apply for and win an increased sentence.

                    You’re comfortable giving political appointees and government ministers the power to sign warrants affecting New Zealanders, because you support the National Party.

                    Have you heard of the Magna Carta? Cobbled together on Running Dog Island by a bunch of thirteenth-century communists, or something. Go back to sleep.

    • Reddelusion 11.2

      Yes in your fantasy OAB

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1

        Which fantasy would that be? The one where I prefer the Police and courts to wield civilian power?

  12. Wayne 12

    This item is bit like the prior item Left Militant. No Right Turn is essentially suggesting that New Zealand adopts a position of neutrality. No amount of protections in the legislation will be enough for No Right Turn, because he/she is against intelligence agencies and their powers as a matter of principle.

    No Right Turn is quite specific. There would be no intelligence agencies, no membership of Five Eyes, no engagement with any of our usual partners on anti-terror issues, or indeed on most security issues.

    Importantly one of the key consequences would be effectively no ANZAC alliance with Australia. If New Zealand had opted out of Five Eyes, was not prepared to work with them on security issues other than say the Solomons, had no frigates or Orion like aircraft and no special forces, they could reasonably assume that we have little value as an ally.

    This will be one of the reasons why Labour will support, at least to some extent, the legislation. They have no intention of campaigning for New Zealand to be a neutral nation. As I have previously said you only need to read Andrew Little’s foreign policy speech To NZIAA to know that.

    The Greens clearly would prefer New Zealand to be a neutral nation. All of their security polices would have that as an outcome.

    However, I presume that the arrangement between Labour and the Greens means effectively the Greens will not be pursuing this option in a coalition. Of course if the Greens were the majority of the coalition then I guess they would.

    So while No Right Turn may have his/her own view, for it to become New Zealand government policy would mean that a party that believes these things would have to win at least 35% of the vote, so they could get their way in a Left coalition. That party is clearly not Labour, at least not until it gets a Corbyn like leader, but unlike Corbyn who can also unite the party on such an issue.

    Until then the neutral flag is being flown by the Greens.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      I note you have made no attempt whatsoever to justify the deployment of NZ spies against NZ civilians, nor the documented crimes they have already committed.

      What use is a law commissioner who toes the party line?

      • Wayne 12.1.1

        Just for your interest, the Law Commission works on the specific references that we have, and we don’t make general comment on legal issues. The current references are;

        1. Contempt of court
        2. Declaratory judgements
        3. A review of the Criminal investigations (Bodily Samples) Act – this is about DNA.
        4. A review of the Search and surveillance Act – this was required five years after the 2012 legislation and is being done jointly with the Ministry of Justice.
        5. A review of the Property Relationships Act.

        My last three projects as lead Commissioner were “Self Defence by Victims of Family Violence whom commit Homicide,” “Non fatal strangulation as separate Crime,” and “The Law of Burial and Cremations.” The first two were given to the Law Commission as part of the government’s Family Violence project, which is being led by Amy Adams. My current reference is the DNA reference.

        My postings here are my personal views, and I do not cross into anything that is being done or likely to be done by the Law Commission.

        As you know my specific interests on this site have mostly been on international trade (TPP), foreign and security policy, where I retain an active interest, and things like housing affordability.

        I usually keep my comments at the level of policy, precisely to avoid commenting on specific actions of government departments and agencies.

        So on this issue, whether New Zealand should be neutral or not keep, my views stay at the policy level, maybe with a bit of color like the 2002 discussion, which is now 15 years ago, and which I referred to the issue of legal interpretation rather than anything else.

        So I also consider that I can also write for NZIAA on the issue of New Zealand’s independent foreign policy and what it means. Which also has a Five Eyes element.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’d say the issue of whether to deploy spies against your own population is right up there at a policy level.

          Alignment is another question entirely. That said, getting our “allies” to spy on us for you doesn’t cast you or our “allies” in a very good light.

          Thanks for the schooling re: the LC.

        • Anne

          Wayne @ 12.1.1
          I think it should be acknowledged that you have assiduously stuck to your personal views on matters under discussion without them impinging on your other governmental pursuits. I enjoy sparring with you from time to time because your points – while sometimes a little overly pompous in delivery and hence my down to earth responses 😉 – are based on your knowledge and experiences over many years.

          I hereby bestow upon you the much sought after title “Honorary Standardista” . May you continue to brighten our lives and sharpen our wits for the years to come.

          The bouquet’s over. As we were…

          • Leftie

            You are a very nice person Anne.

            • Anne

              Credit where credit is due. We may be on the opposite side of the political fence – and it shall remain that way – but Wayne is the bearer of instructive stuff sometimes. I welcome it.

              My Honorary Standardista bit was a razz. 😛

      • reason 12.1.2

        Wayne is a crony Law commissioner appointed for political reasons by the national party …..


        He is also a racist warmonger who supports ignoring and breaking international laws.

        He likes supporting illegal wars for trade deals …..

        I’ve heard he’s a good negotiator ……. I’m not sure how many dead, burned and maimed kids he accepts for 1 million dollars worth of trade for New Zealand…

        But he would have a number ………… it’s probably a high number as poor, brown or non white kids are not worth much to him ……

    • RJL 12.2

      @Wayne “There would be … no engagement with any of our usual partners on anti-terror issues, or indeed on most security issues.”

      Even if we had no intelligence agencies, there could still be engagement on anti-terror / security issues. The engagement would just be transparent and where it belonged: at the police and judicial level. Our police would still be able to arrest people, our courts could still process extraditions: as long as proper evidence was forthcoming.

      @Wayne “Importantly one of the key consequences would be effectively no ANZAC alliance with Australia…had no frigates or Orion like aircraft and no special forces, they could reasonably assume that we have little value as an ally.”

      We don’t have any military value as an ally to the likes of Australia or the US in the current context either. We only have diplomatic value; as if we contribute to an action, then it looks less unilateral. Also, we have some geographic value, to help ensure global coverage for satellite tracking.

      But even if we had no intelligence agencies and had a severely truncated military (which we do now, anyway). We would still be able to contribute to properly mandated UN Peacekeeping / Aid operations.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.2.1

        Well you’re also forgetting the one thing NZ does better then anyone else and that’s grow food.

        Its not as exciting as oil or gold but an almost guaranteed food production guarantee is something that all countries would want, coupled that with first world international airports, ports and other infrastructure means NZ would be a useful addition for anyone

        I’m not saying it’d be worth going to war against Australia and the USA but to say NZs only value is diplomatic is not correct

      • Wayne 12.2.2


        We do provide actual military value in the ANZAC alliance.

        For instance we have two ANZAC frigates and Australia has eight. We have six P3 Orions, Australia has 18. Australia has 12 Hercules, we have five. We must be nearly one third of ANZAC first tier special forces.

        So our contribution counts. In some key areas we are providing around one quarter of the total capability of the ANZAC partners. At that level it makes a real difference in coalition calculations.

        • RJL

          @Wayne “Australia has 12 Hercules, we have five.”

          Sure, and, for example, Google tells me that the US Air Force has 428 Hercules (and I guess other US military branches might have some).

          So, it isn’t like what we offer matters a great deal from a military perspective to the Australians, assuming they are also an ally of the US.

          @Wayne “We must be nearly one third of ANZAC first tier special forces.”

          Wikipedia tells me that Australia has around 2050 active special forces members (and 750 in reserve). It seems hard to believe that NZ could have 1000 active special forces: that would be about 10% of our whole active military.

          • Wayne


            Wikipedia is right, but the majority of Australian special forces are in the Commando Battalion, which are second tier. Very capable (a bit like the UK Marines) but not first tier.

            First tier is SAS.

            • RJL


              So, we are so militarily valuable to Australia there shouldn’t really be any problem with us getting rid of our intelligence agencies. You seem to be saying that Australia would want/need to keep us in ANZUS, even if we got rid of the GCSB?

              Alternatively, if we got rid of some more aspects of our military at the same time as the GCSB, what does it matter to us if that would be annoying to Australia?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Espionage is an integral component of the armed forces, for reasons best expressed by Sun Tzu. See link in previous comment.

                Narrow their focus and get them back on mission, yes. Abolish them, no.

  13. Michelle 13

    I think we all now know why we had a visit from Uncle Sam our political masters have come to tell our ruling party what they want and its more of the same loss of rights and privacy of NZers on a massive scale something we were promised wouldn’t happen.

    • Leftie 13.1

      Yep Michelle, Uncle Sam says to John key, “jump” and John key says “How high?”

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        Better then the unions saying jump and Andrew Littles jumping before they’ve even finished the sentence

        • Leftie

          So you think a foreign power dictating it’s will upon us is more important and acceptable than unions fighting for nz worker rights Puckish Rogue?

          • Puckish Rogue

            In this instance yes, NZ has been following this line of thinking for decades, its been tested, it works well and so it should continue

            • Leftie

              Well that’s not a surprise and is so typical of you Puckish Rogue. NZ used to be more independent than what it has become under John key. It’s not working out well, and that’s the point.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Are you really that naïve? NZ has been part of this since the 1950s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

                and I’d suggest there was probably something less formal but no less binding before that with the UK as well, its only now with the advent of the digital age that this is all coming to light

                Ignorance is bliss

                • Leftie

                  NZ has been independent enough in the past to tell the US where to go Puckish Rogue, it wasn’t always the suck up it’s become under John key.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    No you’re right: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waihopai_Station

                    The construction of a new station on 30 hectares of stony ground was authorised by the Prime Minister David Lange and Finance Minister Roger Douglas in 1987. Gerald Hensley comments that Lange: “was ready to work with the Australians [as] …. international communications were shifting to satellites …. Lange was regularly briefed by me and despite his later claims knew exactly what was involved and why the station was needed. …. The Australians were building a similar one at Geraldton [Western Australia] and their Defence Minister explained to the PM why the two installations separated by five time zones would enhance the benefit to both countries.”[1]

                    I’m sure Labour had no idea it was in partnership with the USA 🙂

                    • Leftie

                      Are you being deliberately obtuse Puckish Rogue? Some examples spring to mind, like NZ’s Nuclear free stance and saying NO to following the US into it’s Iraqi war.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You need me to paint you a picture?

                      In 1984 NZ went nuclear free (well weapons anyway) yet it was business as usual when NZ built the Waihopai station in 1987

                      That’s telling the USA all right 🙂

                      and as for the Iraq War well theres this:


                      “In Parliament yesterday, Green foreign affairs spokesman Keith Locke accused the Government of being “complicit” in the build-up to war against Iraq, saying the frigate Te Kaha had been escorting Iraq-bound US warships in the Strait of Hormuz, despite the Government’s insistence that it was not involved.

                      Mr Locke produced a photograph from the Navy’s latest in-house magazine Navy Today showing Te Kaha escorting the US transport ship Watkins during Operation Enduring Freedom.”

                      Symbolism is everything and, of course, Waihapoi was still chugging along as well as Tangimoana

                      When push comes to shove NZ has always and, for the foreseeable future anyway, will always back the USA

                    • Leftie

                      So you are being deliberately obtuse Puckish Rogue. NZ didn’t send in combative troops in the Iraq war, NZ said NO to the US and what do you think the anti nuclear Act was all about ? I never claimed that NZ wasn’t an ally to the US, but as a small country we have in the past showed independence by standing up to them, and it didn’t cripple this country for doing so. It took John key just 8 years to do that.

                    • Reddelusion []

                      And you are been overly selective and myopic in your view of history leftie, The truth hurts when it shatters a deep but falsely held belief doesn’t it

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I’m saying that no matter what NZ politicans say or do in public in private they’ve always fallen in behind the USA

                    • Leftie

                      And what I am saying is not every time Puckish Rogue.

                      “myopic” “truth hurts”?? that’s rich coming from you Reddelusion.

        • framu

          “Better then the unions saying jump and Andrew Littles jumping before they’ve even finished the sentence”

          is that the old “the unions put him in the leadership” thing again?

      • NZJester 13.1.2

        Nope he don’t say how high. He just starts jumping as high as he can for how many times he can until they tell him he can stop jumping for now, he is such a good boy and hold out his favourite toy of a ponytail on a little girl doll dressed as a waitress for him to pull

    • Leftie 13.2

      Also explains why the Nats gave SIS and the GCSB a big funding boost in the 2016 budget.

  14. Bill 14

    A naive comment this one – but pertinent.

    What we need is the ability to put the government (and swathes of the business and finance sector) under a micro-scope. But no.

    They all have “get out” clauses built around “commercial sensitivity” and “national security”.

    I don’t want or need to spy on any people in NZ and I dare say that sentiment’s common to most people.

    Now, if Government is meant to be a political expression of the will of the people and we don’t want to be looking in one another’s top drawers, yet the Government insists on doing just that, then what does that say about the legitimacy of Government?

    btw – NRT had a post about the arsewipes spying on Tony Fullman. I just wonder if it even crossed the minds of the idiots to just knock on his door, lay out their concerns and ask him a few questions. Probably not. You get what you need to know through bank statements, photos of cars, unhealthy paranoia and a desperate desire to have something ‘big’ happen on your watch…apparently.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      “We” do indeed need to look behind people’s curtains from time to time. It’s called a search warrant.

      Our spies are supposed to help protect us from warrantless searches by foreign governments on NZ soil.

      • Reddelusion 14.1.1

        What about sedition ?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Do you believe our judiciary and police lack the powers to deal with sedition?

          • McFlock

            Actually, sedition is no longer a crime at all.

            In a democracy, any “sedition” that needs to be illegal falls under incitement to violence, treason, etc.

            edit: spot on about the transition of the agencies from protecting us into viewing us as the threat, btw

          • Reddelusion

            I can see why gcsb would be useful if technical surveillance was required from an ICT point of view, likewise SIS If treason in cohort with forgein actors

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Police have access to plenty of surveillance equipment and solutions. Their use is authorised (or not eg: Hager) by the courts.

              Authorisation, among other things requires a quaint Lefty notion called “probable cause”. You may have heard of it, but then, what use is the rule of law to a signpost?

  15. save nz 15

    Lets face it all the dictatorships love spying. It is actually a sign of a dictatorship in progress.

    From Stalin to Hitler to Pol Pot they all love to control and cling on to power by controlling and spying on their people.

    Right wing or Left wing, dictators need to control and stop their people disagreeing with them and to do that they like to nip it in the bud, by spying and further more, can then set up the victims with bogus ‘charges’.

    The judiciary will also need to be manipulated and a work in progress, such as this law change so that formally illegal actions by the state are now legal.

    We have seen the first round with Nicky Hager and Dot Com.

    Now China want’s their own extradition treaty, which we all know John Key will agree with as long as US says it is ok.

  16. Heather Grimwood 16

    ……..and rather than a new flag, we will urgently need a new anthem/song.

    • save nz 16.1

      Spies of nations at thy feet
      In the bonds of fear we meet.
      Drown our voices, we entreat,
      Spies defend our sold heap.
      Guard Pacific’s Greedy arses,
      From the shafts of citizens feet
      Make our spies heard afar,
      Spies defend the world’s elite.

      Men of every creed and race
      Oppress us here before thy face,
      Asking thee to own this place,
      Spies defend the world’s elite face.
      From freedom, fairness, and the masses
      Grant corruption, guard our asses,
      Make our country captive mate,
      Spies defend New Zealand.

  17. Sable 17

    I predict Labour will do what Labour always does and simply water it down. They did this back in the day with the Employment Contracts Act and they look set to do it again with the 90 day clause.

    This might not be employment law but I would not imagine this will be any different.

  18. Anno1701 18


  19. Observer Tokoroa 19

    . To: Save NZ

    Your Revised National Anthem is Brilliant. ! 16:11:05am:2016

    . Thank heavens we have a few people in NZ who realise Spies are passing strange. Those who govern the spies a markedly more strange.

    Particularly if they are organised by our current severely brain damaged Parliament. Also it looks as if we are going to have more spies that we can house.

    . Be Patriotic Kiwis ! Take in a spy or a spyess – give them food and warmth.


  20. Observer Tokoroa 20

    . A Question ?

    . Does anyone know if Spies spy on themselves ? Or do they silently employ spies from other trusted countries such as USA or China to do that for them. ?

    It seems a great pity if our hardworking spies are forbidden to spy on themselves and thereby go without the wonderful surveillance given to all other members of the grateful public of NZ.

    Clearly, each Spy should have a highly skilled person dedicated to spying on the Spy, be they American or Chinese, Russian or Syrian. Or even Australian.

    This will put more pressure on our Housing Crisis. Even though our Government spies have advised that there is no Housing problem in NZ. Which explains why people are living in cars.


  21. NZJester 21

    I’m wondering how much information collected by spies on political activists will be given to the National Government at the next election about events set up to support other parties and try and highlight Nationals poor record in office.
    Such information could see National setting up flying squads of people or pre-smearing people in the press just before and event to try and counteract such events giving them a political advantage.

  22. Dogs 22

    Will everyone please ignore PR. He only keeps coming back when we comment on what he says. If we let him splash around in his own piddle he will definitely be less effective. Do not reply to him. Do not refute his disgracefully neo-lib rants. He is only there to needle us. If we remain unpricked then he is lost. Oh, and yes, he is a ‘he’, because no woman would ever be caught espousing such vermiform and vitriolic rubbish. Freeze him out!

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