web analytics

Who else are they spying on?

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, December 17th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: Media, national/act government, police - Tags: , , , ,

Gordon Campbell raises a good question in his latest Scoop column – are the Police also using paid informants to spy on mosques?

According to the original Sunday Star-Times article, the Police informant Rob Gilchrist was getting $600 a week for his information. This is a substantial amount, and more than enough to entice anyone to manufacture information to keep the money coming in and no surprise then that Gilchrist seems to have been active in promoting activities he could then inform on.

The incident raises an additional concern. A fee of $600 a week could well find takers among refugee communities and mosques in New Zealand, and any information manufactured in this context would have an extra dimension. Most social activists are New Zealand citizens, and so their immigration status is not at risk. That is not the case with many refugees and among some ethnic minorities. Recent arrivals from Islamic countries who may be attending mosques in New Zealand do not enjoy the protection of citizenship.

Therefore, there is genuine potential for dubious, paid information to be used secretly in decisions that affect immigration status. To date, there has been no more evidence of security risks emanating from mosques in New Zealand than there is from the environmental or social activist groups spied on by Rob Gilchrist. If the Police anti-terrorism unit is willing to spy on people exercising their right to freedom of protest, what is it doing to infringe on those exercising freedom of worship ?

I’ve had similar thoughts myself. After all, it’s hard to believe that the spying activity revealed by Rochelle Rees was limited to one paid informant. If they’re investigating Greenpeace and Auckland Animal Action for potential terrorist activity there’s a good chance there are paid Police informants in the Muslim community and elsewhere.

So, who else are the Police spying on? And why don’t the Prime Minister, the Minister of Police or the media appear at all interested in finding out?

16 comments on “Who else are they spying on? ”

  1. Tim 1

    I think there’s a real need for the police to have their ear to what is going on in many parts of society. I would prefer they focus most on P labs, gangs and organised burglary rings but it would also be naive of the police not to monitor certain activist groups and even some religious groups. While moderate muslims are peaceful, there is often an element of fundamentalist/extremist muslims that are not, and I would feel safer knowing that our police actually have an idea of who those elements might be. And I’m sure there are other groups as well. I’m not sure why they’d be spying on the green party, but suspect it had something to do with the government of the time.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    same with the catholics and protestants. they’ve caused their fair share of troubles. and russians. we all know about the australians amoungst us and most of them are surely law abiding, but still. i understand that most heterosexuals are moderate but there exist amoungst them some who are violent. Indeed most people in prison are of that persuasion.

  3. the sprout 3

    Indeed Pb, I’ve heard a lot of those left-handers have criminal persuasions too. Best lock them up to be on the safe side. You may also be interested to know that Pol Pot was short. Concidence? I think not.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    But your argument (and Campbell’s) presupposes that the Police held a genuine belief that Rochelle Rees, say, was genuinely planning terrorist action.

    [Sorry to single her out but she’s the public victim in this, it’s clear she wouldn’t, and the Police did say that it wasn’t organisations that concerned them, it was individuals].

    I would argue, on the other hand, that clearly they held no such belief. They knew full well that the people on whom they were spying were benign in terms of their potential or intent to seriously break the law (i.e. blow stuff up as opposed to shuffling round in front of a shop holding a placard).

    So why were they targeted? Simple. The Police are a prejudiced, reactionary bunch with a huge vested interest in the preservation of the status quo. They will thus run surveillance against anyone seen to threaten those interests, regardless of how unthreatening they are to the public at large.

    When I got tired of them bugging my phone (in the days before DTMF and digital, when a thunderous “click” signalled the bridging of the line at the start of a call) I arranged with friends to have a ridculous conversation worthy of Cheech and Chong and then staked out the “meeting place” and caught them in our headlights as they crept around and laughed our asses off. Either they gave up or got cleverer, I’m not sure which.

    I know at least two senior barristers who refuse to discuss cases on landlines or mobiles, or via email, trusting only fax communication and preferring, whenever possible, to meet in person and hand over documents personally. They are in abslutely no doubt that the police routinely monitor their privileged communications with clients.

    With all that going on, we’d be lucky if there were enough resources left to monitor mosques!!

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Short, was he? that explains it then. it’s surely a worry sprout. you’d think people would start to pay more attention to these people after that corsican fellow what was always scratching his armpit, and that austrian bloke. we should clearly lock up everyone under 5 foot 10 for males and 5’6 for females and not let them out till they’ve finnished growing up.

    you’ve nought to fear if you’ve nought to hide

  6. the sprout 6

    That sounds like an eminently sensible sentence.

    Nevermind the quiet ones, it’s the short ones youse gots to watch for.

  7. insider 7

    My goodness how outrageous – people might be monitored in mosques. WHo in their right mind could beleive that they might be sources of radicalism aimed at destabilising the society they exist in? I mean it’s just not credible.

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Hey if Gilchrist is indicative of the standard that’s needed to be a nark nowadays I’ll put my hand up. I’ll just let my stubble grow a bit longer, chuck on a dressing gown, head down the local mosque and tell ’em my name’s Abdul.

    Of course unlike Gilchrist’s cushy sinecure there won’t be any perks. No dizzy leftoid girlies desperate for a shag so they can pretend they’re in the arms of a dangerous revolutionary rather than a pudgy layabout. I’ll have to lay off the pork chops. And I doubt I could get away with a quick snifter or ten from my hip flask…

    So let’s call if $750 a week clear, shall we?

    I’m sure I can produce intelligence of equal value, especially with the sprout and Pascal’s bookie to help me.

  9. Julie 9

    I might be remembering this all wrong, but wasn’t there quite a lot of evidence in the Zaoui case that the defence was never allowed to see because it was supposedly a security risk to even show the accused? Reading this post I thought of that…

  10. Akldnut 10

    I wannna know if he was receiving the benefit or working?
    1. If it was the benefit, was it declared as additional income?
    2. If it was either, did he pay secondary tax?
    3. Will he get a reference from the police for his next job?
    4. If didn’t pay “Tax” will the police pay him to join the “Tax evaders” club and start potting them?

    5.The most important question is:
    How did a moron like him pull a chic like Rochelle?

  11. Anita 11

    So, who else are the Police spying on? And why don’t the Prime Minister, the Minister of Police or the media appear at all interested in finding out?

    I expect that the media is interested in finding out, but they know just how fruitless asking would be.

  12. Sarah 12

    I’m sorry Tane, but the police are doing what is necessary to protect our national interests. The groups in question, that are being investigated, have continually shown themselves to be a general threat and nusiance to society, and therefore the police are justified to monitor them to ensure that they continue to abide by the law in the future and do not put themselves in a position where they could potentially harm society.

    I commend the police for doing their job properly and efficiently, as they have demonstrated over the last few days that public safety is the top aim within their work. Anything less from the police in my eyes would be a failure.

    On the other hand, The Standard over the past few days has demonstrated quite readily their inability to handle any issue in a fair and balanced manner. The connection of Rochelle Rees to Standard owner Lynn Pretince has encapsulated this, as The Standard has delved into a crusade to protect and represent Lynn’s family interests, instead of fairly dealing with the issue by taking into account both sides. In doing this, this website has lost it’s credibility as an independent left-wing blog, and I would heavily suggest that members of this site look at this issue from the perspective of the police when coming to further judgments.

  13. Sarah,

    How ever much of a nuisance you may consider them there is no reasonable justification for having a group of police who’s job is to look out for terrorists, spy on political groups. If you honestly think that the behaviour of the police is appropriate, you wouldn’t mind them also having people to spy on such groups as Family First, The Free Speech Coalition, Destiny Church, the ACT party, the Sensible Sentancing Trust, ect.

    On the other hand, the reaction from large parts of kiwiblog and the right leaning commentators here has shown how willing you all are to put personal prejudice over principle, you lot should be ashamed of yourselves.

  14. Django 14

    So, I imagine down at the Standard those of you with a conscience now have sympathy with National , over the uninvestigated theft of private correspondence by person or persons unknown, and the subsequent politicisation of that stolen property by the Labour and NZ First parties. In contrast to the non-released details of the Gilchrist spy missions, the National Party email theft involved the editing and out of context dissemination of them publicly and even saw books, plays and movie productions made for commercial and political mileage.

    At least the Greens can consider themselves lucky it’s the Police who have any info and not the Government. Imagine the mileage the Nats could get from this one should they choose an open enquiry with all the stolen Greens information given over for public scrutiny.

    “Hollow Men 2 – the hypocrites” – perhaps?

  15. Sarah 15

    Killinginthenameof – If those groups have been deemed by the police to be a risk to society in one way or another then yes I certainly believe that they should get the same treatment as those left wing groups. Especially the National Front.

    Don’t politicise this whole issue.

  16. Anita 16

    Sarah,

    How much of a threat does a group have to be to justify this kind of intrusion? How should that be decided? Should the decision-making criteria be made public?

    I think very few of us are arguing that no groups should be infiltrated, what we’re arguing about is where the lines should be drawn, and what kind of Police action is justified for each line.

    Knowing a little about some of the groups the Police used Rob to spy on, I find it really hard to believe that the line that justifies this level of intrusion was crossed.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Prime Minister congratulates victorious Black Caps
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Kane Williamson and the Black Caps for their victory over India in the final of the inaugural Cricket World Test Championship. “The Black Caps have made New Zealand proud. This was a masterful performance from a team at the top of their game and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Further action to tackle cervical cancer
    Parliament has taken another step to help reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer, with the Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill passing its third reading. “I am very pleased by the robust consideration this Bill has received. It will ensure technology allows healthcare providers to directly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • $500 million seized from gangs and criminals
    A significant Government milestone has been reached with $500 million in cash and assets seized from gangs and criminals by Police over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams announced today. “During our last term in office, this target was set for 2021 with Police as part of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Congratulations to the Black Caps – World Champions
    Minister of Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson has congratulated the Black Caps as the deserved winners of the inaugural World Test Cricket Championship. “The Black Caps have pulled off a remarkable and deserved win in the World Test Championship final against India.  The final is the culmination of two years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Alert Level 2 in Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast
    Alert Level 2 measures are now in place for Wellington, Wairarapa and Kāpiti Coast to the north of Ōtaki, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. These measures are precautionary, following the potential exposure of New Zealanders to a COVID-19 case from Sydney. The person visited a range of locations in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the India New Zealand Business Council Summit
    5pm, Wednesday 23 June 2021 [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Tuia te Rangi e tū nei Tuia te Papa e takoto nei Tuia te here tangata Ka rongo te pō, ka rongo te Ao Tihei Mauri Ora   Introduction Namaskar, tēnā koe and good evening. Thank you for your kind invitation to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Financial support for caregivers widened
    Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has welcomed changes that will make it easier for caregivers looking after children outside of the state care system to access much-needed financial assistance. The Social Security (Financial Assistance for Caregivers) Amendment Bill will also allow these caregivers to access further benefits previously unavailable to them. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Agencies to have powers to secure maritime domain
    A Bill introduced to Parliament today aims to prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including transnational offending and organised crime, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Aotearoa New Zealand will be better placed to keep our maritime environment secure against threats like drugs trafficking, wildlife trafficking and human trafficking with the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Critical support for New Zealand’s budding researchers
    Fellowships to attract and retain talented researchers in the early stages of their career, have been awarded to 30 New Zealanders, Associate Research, Science and Innovation Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “I am pleased to congratulate these researchers, who will be receiving funding through the MBIE Science Whitinga Fellowship. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bill to stop taxpayers having to fund oil field decommissions
    The Government is preventing taxpayers picking up the bill for the decommissioning of oil fields, says Energy and Resource Minister Dr Megan Woods.  “After the Crown had to take responsibility for decommissioning the Tui oil field, it became clear to me that the current requirements around decommissioning are inadequate and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand to pause
    New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will be paused while the source of infection of new cases announced in Sydney is investigated, says COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. There are 10 new community cases of COVID-19 today in New South Wales, taking the Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone reached for Iwi Affiliation Population Counts
    Iwi affiliation data released today provides updated population counts for all iwi and addresses gaps in Māori data originating from the 2018 Census, says Associate Minister of Statistics Meka Whaitiri. “The release of the 2018 Iwi Affiliation Estimated Counts is a really important step, and I acknowledge the hard work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill passes first reading
    Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little welcomed Ngāti Rangitihi to Parliament today to witness the first reading of The Ngāti Rangitihi Claims Settlement Bill. “I know it took a lot of hard work, time and patience by all parties involved to reach this significant milestone. I am honoured to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Sustainable Healthcare and Climate Health Conference Aotearoa
    Mihi Tēnā tātou katoa Kei ngā pou o te whare hauora ki Aotearoa, kei te mihi. Tēnā koutou i tā koutou pōwhiri mai i ahau. E mihi ana ki ngā taura tangata e hono ana i a tātou katoa, ko te kaupapa o te rā tērā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Infrastructure Acceleration Fund opening for business
    Criteria to access at least $1 billion of the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund (HAF), announced in March, is now available, and an invitation for expressions of interest will be released on 30 June, Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced.  “This is a key milestone in our plan to accelerate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bringing back the health of Hauraki Gulf
    New marine protection areas and restrictions on fishing are among a raft of changes being put in place to protect the Hauraki Gulf for future generations. The new strategy, Revitalising the Gulf – Government action on the Sea Change Plan, released today, draws on input from mana whenua, local communities, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to AI Forum – Autonomous Weapons Systems
    AI Forum New Zealand, Auckland Good evening and thank you so much for joining me this evening. I’d like to start with a thank you to the AI Forum Executive for getting this event off the ground and for all their work and support to date. The prospect of autonomous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago