Red Alert

Supreme Court Update: Labour’s response to Goverment Bill

Posted by on September 23rd, 2011

Here’s the letter making our clear position in response to the Government’s proposed legislation:

Response to AG (23 September)

The first post in the series is here: Overturning the Supreme Court and the second here.


14 Responses to “Supreme Court Update: Labour’s response to Goverment Bill”

  1. Ianmac says:

    Labour’s Response is the right one. Well done Charles. Especially the bit about “warrantless surveillance” being unacceptable. Absolutely.

  2. George says:

    The last poll I saw showed something like 80% in favour of police being able to use covert video surveilence.

    Whatever the constitutional points that are being made, I think that the view of the general public on your stance will be that Labour are siding with the crims and the human rights activists, and hindering the police in their efforts to make our society a safe place in which to live.

    Not a good thing weeks out from an election.

    It’s almost as if National has engineered a situation where you couldn’t win – you either had to upset your activists or the wider electorate.

  3. Idiot/Savant says:

    Thanks for posting this. The bill is appalling, a blank cheque for police misbehaviour.

    Free and democratic societies do not hand out such blank cheques. If the police are to have video surveillance powers, there must be proper judicial oversight proportionate to the intrusion. As for their past behaviour, the police knowingly broke the law, and they need to be held to account for that.

  4. Anne says:

    Superb letter Charles. Couldn’t be clearer.

    Your final sentence:
    I need to make it clear that such a briefing (with officials) is not a substitute for a select committe process, on which our support for a first reading largely continues to depend.

    Please Labour stick to your guns. Your reputation as a strong, principled party depends on it.

  5. Tracey says:

    “It’s almost as if National has engineered a situation where you couldn’t win – you either had to upset your activists or the wider electorate.”

    George I feel certain this is the case.

    The problems here, and there are many, is the 80% who answered that poll have been poorly served thus far by the media who ought to be investigating deeper than press releases. Not a shred of evidence has been released to back the statement that seriously criminals will go free because of this, or that 40 trials are in danger of falling over. The AG mischieviously released a statement saying the “kinds of” crimes the surveillance covers but cleverly never siad the r are any of those cases in danger here.

    Please don’t cave to the shallow populist schtick that National is peddling to pull the wool over peoples eyes around a very important tenant of our democracy. Innocent til proven guilty. anyone remember that?

  6. KJT says:

    I’m still waiting, for the senior police who knowingly broke the law, to be charged.

    This is real peoples rights, to freedom from unlawful violations of privacy by the State, not a Tom Clancy novel.

  7. Charles Chauvel says:

    Appreciate the comments I/S and Ianmac. George – yours too. These issues are never easy. We accept there’s an issue here that needs sorting. But it’s our job as an opposition to demand that it be sorted properly, not just to write a blank cheque to National to do what it wants. If that loses us some popularity on some fronts in the short run, so be it. The alternative is Muldoonism. Most of us on my side in politics joined up to make sure we never went back to that.

  8. Monty says:

    There has been talk of Labour grandstanding on this issue. From what I understand the current legislation was passed under the Labour Government and the surveillance part was an omission – is this the case?

    I say grandstanding because you are now safe in that Act have come to the party to support the legislation – so it is irrelevant whether or not Labour support it. In fact Labour must support it or be seen as being soft on crime.

    Nats should improve their processes, but as this was a matter that needs to be addressed immediately, sometimes correct process does get swept aside a little.

    Chucky – you say “The alternative is Muldoonism” i have say that is such a piece of dribble. The intent of the original legislation was to allow police surveillance. If Labour had not stuffed up originally, then maybe the Nats would not have to clean up the mess now.

  9. Tim says:

    Monty – ignorance is no excuse for the drivel you post.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz says:

    Montys falsehoods are laughable. The legislation he talks about is currently in limbo, by national.
    The reason is Power wanted his laws to take away individuals rights this year and the surveillance laws to wait for next year. Or maybe Gerry stuffed up the schedule as usual.

  11. Tracey says:

    Monty, on what do you base this comment “The intent of the original legislation was to allow police surveillance.” Do you mean the intent was for unfettered surveillance by the police? Or something else? Source please.

    Given your statement above

    “”Nats should improve their processes, but as this was a matter that needs to be addressed immediately, sometimes correct process does get swept aside a little.”

    what do you make of the AG ignoring Labour’s letter on 9 November 2010, sent to Simon Power, and copied to Chris Finlayson and Judith Collins. It was tabled in the House by Charles Chauvel on 16 November 2010.

    “The letter said that Labour would support passage of the legislation provided that it included three simple amendments:

    1. There should be appropriate protection for the news media
    2. Search powers for the Serious Fraud office should be brought in to line with those that apply to the police
    3. Only serious offences involving drugs, violence or extortion (those punishable by more than 10 years imprisonment) should be subject to orders under the act.”

    Ghost, have to agree, the urgency is because people think that some Maori activists wont get what’s coming to them and clearly the Govt didnt think that would happen pre election. Accordingly they have to splatter the issue with misinformation and mischievousness about the impact.

  12. Marty says:

    What is wrong with the old system of the Police seeking warrants/court orders from judges? Maybe its because judges might ask embarrassing questions such as “Do you really need to do this?” We should be very careful in allowing a government to interfere in the due processes of the law. The independence and strength of the judiciary to resist political interference is a pillarstone of true democracy and the National government’s proposed law changes come uncomfortably close to doing that.

  13. Nick C says:

    {deleted, off topic and entering into legal matters, Grant}

  14. Pernacannaliculus says:

    People who use the why didn’t the Labour Government fix it all before repost forget that electronic and surveillance abilities are changing rapidly ,get real some of these things are new some of the desires to use surveillance are also new, they need careful analysis, you may be the one who annoys someone next ?