CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist Bill
Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill into law and urging him to follow the proper process in considering this legislation.
“Rushing this legislation through is not appropriate or proper. We will not participate in a sham consultation process or take for ourselves the “luxury” of the chance to be heard at the select committee on the basis of some dubious selection criteria made by those to whom the Bill grants power while other legitimately interested citizens and groups are denied that opportunity,” CTU President, Helen Kelly said.
“There has been no evidence presented at all from the Prime Minister that such urgency is needed. Given the severe and unique nature of the powers being sought, quite the opposite is appropriate and a reasonable period of time should be made available for the public to have a say on this legislation,” Kelly said.
“The Bill provides authority for the SIS to trespass onto private property in order to conduct covert surveillance (such as installing video cameras and listening devices). These powers will compromise citizens’ right to avoid unreasonable search and seizure and to privacy. The Bill also extends the ability of the SIS to conduct warrantless surveillance for 48 hours in situations where it would be impracticable to get a warrant and it is believed that information may be lost. Warrantless surveillance as fundamentally irreconcilable with expectations of acceptable government behaviour in a free and open society. The only public accountability for the use of this power is that the SIS must note the number of times this power is used in their annual report,” Kelly said.
For further comment, please contact:
Helen Kelly, President, CTU
Huia Welton | Communications & Campaigns Advisor | New Zealand Council of Trade Unions – Te Kauae Kaimahi
Unions – we’re about Fairness