The Search and Surveillance Bill: A Threat to Our Civil Rights

April 22, 2010

Cameron Walker, Published in Craccum 19 April 2010

National Day of Action against the Search and Surveillance Bill: April 24
On Saturday 24th April there will be protests around the country against the Search and Surveillance Bill. The Auckland protest will start at 2pm, opposite the Town Hall, Queen Street.

The Search and Surveillance Bill is a law currently being debated by the New Zealand Parliament. According to its supporters, such as the National and Labour Parties, it is necessary because New Zealand’s laws relating to search and surveillance powers are currently spread across a large number of statutes and it would make things much easier for the Police and other state agencies if they were all put in one statute. However, the Bill not only does this but also creates a number of new powers for state agencies to monitor, search and detain people. The Auckland Council for Civil Liberties refers to it as ‘perhaps the greatest single expansion of state powers of entry, seizure and surveillance in New Zealand history’. Bizarrely the new powers are not just granted to the Police but also 70 other state agencies, including the Pork Board and Work and Income NZ (WINZ). At its first reading in Parliament only the Greens voted against it. Read the rest of this entry »


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