Labour to support amended terror legislation

Labour will support new laws to protect New Zealanders from terrorism after winning significant concessions from the Government, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

“We accept there is an increased threat level and new measures are needed to ensure our security agencies can rapidly respond to terrorist threats.

“Labour has ensured that all searches on potential terrorist activity will require a warrant except in cases of urgent and extreme risk. Even in these circumstances, the Director of the Security and Intelligence Service will be required to immediately notify the Commissioner of Warrants and the Inspector General of Intelligence; and a warrant obtained within 24 hours, not the originally proposed 48 hours.

“The SIS will have to report publicly every six months, rather than annually and in more detail, on the use of these powers.

“Labour insisted on these safeguards to protect New Zealanders. This legislation is temporary and Labour also obtained a shorter sunset clause pending a comprehensive review of the activities of all our intelligence agencies the Government has promised next year.

“We remain concerned about the appallingly rushed process used to pass this legislation.

“Labour remains adamant these powers should only be used when New Zealanders are at risk from terror attacks and not as a means to broaden general spy powers,” Andrew Little says.