Wednesday, April 17, 2013


New Zealand First has always been a party of vindictiveness and xenophobia, promoting harsh law and order policies and outright racism towards immigrants. So I suppose its not really surprising that they're supporting John Key's amendments to allow the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders. During the original passage of the Act they opposed section 14's clear prohibition on spying on New Zealanders due to concerns about "our open-door immigration policy" and "the distribution of methamphetamine" (yes, really). It looks like even evidence of clear abuse has not been enough to disuade them of the dangers of letting the spooks get tangled up in law enforcement.

NZ First talks of "safeguards". But those proposed "safeguards" are for the Minister to sign warrants, and for them to be reviewed by an "independent" tribunal. The first presumably is supposed to bring accountability - but as the Minister is a captive of the agency, and its all kept secret anyway, there will be none, from either the Minister or the public. The second sounds good - but the involvement of the police and NZDF in the oversight of warrants makes the tribunal less than independent. These agencies will be the very ones using the GCSB's services, and they have already demonstrated that they do not care about the law, or people's rights. Their "oversight" will be a bad joke, rather than a source of confidence.

Meanwhile while Labour seems to be strengthening its rhetoric against the changes, I'm not hearing any promises from them to repeal Key's domestic spying legislation next time they are in government. Another example of how they're soft on protecting our rights.