"Finally, the Bill removes the protection, which allows New Zealanders
to support a liberation movement, such as in South Africa yesterday or
in Palestine today 'for the purpose of advocating democratic
government or the protection of human rights'"
Our tupuna last century were labeled "rebels" by the state and
interned to the Guantanamo bay of that day, Tasmania. Ruthless at
squashing independent movements here and round the Pacific its seems
that the settler gubbament has its head so far up the arse of the
neo-liberals & US, its not gonna let small things such as indigenous human
& civil rights to stand in their way.
> RE: The Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill - Submissions Due
> I am writing, as a Green MP, to inform you that the Terrorism
Suppression Amendment (TSA) Bill is currently before the Foreign
Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee. The Committee is calling
for submissions, which are due on May 18.
> The TSA Bill was introduced by the Government and had its first
reading in the House on 29 March.
> The Green Party has expressed some major concerns about the
implications of this Bill for the civil liberties of New Zealanders. I
include here a link to my first reading speech , but here is a
summary of the concerns I have.
> The change increases Prime Ministerial power, at the expense of the
judiciary, in reviewing terrorist designations. The 3-yearly review of
the terrorist designations will now be done by the Prime Minister,
rather than by the High Court.
> The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee, when it
considered the original Terrorism Suppression Act in 2002 made
strenuous efforts to ensure a significant judicial role in the review
process. Now that has been largely eliminated.
> Given the serious consequences for anyone designated a terrorist, it
is unfair for the person who made the original designation, the Prime
Minister, to be the person later checking whether it was accurate. The
only legal avenue open to a designated person is a difficult and
expensive judicial review.
> Another concern is that New Zealand would automatically adopt the
United Nations list of terrorists, even if we had evidence proving a
person or group so listed was innocent. The UN process operates on
the basis of trusting that Governments have correct and unprejudiced
information when they put forward people for inclusion on the list,
and it is very hard to get a name removed, as the Swedish Government
found out when 3 of their nationals were labelled by the US without
any evidence. The practice of designation is a highly politicised
process, and has extremely serious ramifications for those listed. The
absence of review or appeal for those listed raises due process and
civil liberty concerns. This is happening even while other countries
under greater threat have been testing the legal scope, fairness and
accuracy of the UN designations.
> The Bill also complicates our legal system by putting in a general
offence, a 'terrorist act', with a potential sentence of up to life in
prison. This is unnecessary, given that every terrorist act -
including murder and kidnapping - is already an offence here, with due
process protections under criminal law, and set penalties.
> Even people with no intention to harm anyone or destroy property can
qualify as terrorists under the proposed law. A terrorist can now be
someone who, for political reasons, causes 'serious disruption to an
infrastructure facility, if likely to endanger human life'. Some
protest activity during the 1981 Springbok tour could now fall foul of
> Finally, the Bill removes the protection, which allows New
Zealanders to support a liberation movement, such as in South Africa
yesterday or in Palestine today 'for the purpose of advocating
democratic government or the protection of human rights'.
> You can download a copy of the bill. (pdf 1.7mb) from the
parliamentary website, or get a copy from the Committee, phone 04 471 9508
> If you have an interest in, or concern about, the issues in the
Bill, you can make a submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and
Trade Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.
>Submissions close on 18 May 2007