Prime Minister John Key welcomed the report back of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill, which has been strengthened by the select committee process.
“I’d like to thank all of the members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee for their hard work on the Bill,” Mr Key says.
“The Bill has been significantly improved because of their efforts and because of the efforts of submitters.
“A number of changes have been agreed, particularly in areas where submissions had raised concerns.
“As I said at the start of this process, I am seeking wide-ranging political support for the Bill and we have been working with other political parties in good faith.
“The agreed changes to the Bill reflect feedback from our support parties ACT and United Future, as well as positive negotiations with the Labour Party.
“The Bill responds to the rapidly evolving issue of foreign terrorist fighters, with measures that can add to the safety and security of New Zealand in the short-term.
“A larger review of the intelligence agencies, their legislation and their oversight is required by law to begin by the middle of next year.
The proposals contained in the current Bill will be subject to a sunset clause.
The changes include:
The 48 hour emergency surveillance proposal will be reduced to 24 hours, and be restricted to activity that relates to the foreign fighters issue only
The new visual surveillance power will be restricted to activity that relates to the foreign fighters issue only
The sunset clause has been pulled back by a year to April 1, 2017
Additional oversight safeguards and more regular reporting will be required with regard to some of the new powers, particularly the 24 hour emergency surveillance power. . .
Measures like this should be supported by more than a bare majority and it is a good reflection on the whole committee that negotiated changes enabled most parties to support the legislation.