Don't come to New Zealand, it's turning into a police state - Tactical Ninja
Sep. 20th, 2011
09:31 am - Don't come to New Zealand, it's turning into a police state
What the fucking fuck? This government is well known for abuse of urgency to push through laws (note, that list doesn't include the the Filesharing bill or the Youth ID bill which went through under very dodgy circumstances (seriously, read that second article) earlier this year.
Now, the government is changing the law so that the illegal surveillance footage the police took for the Urewera debacle can be admissible in court. That is, instead of investigating illegal police conduct and ensuring the police don't break the law in future, they are making covert surveillance on private property legal. There's some confusion in the article as to whether this law will be applied to the footage related to the four still facing charges in the Urewera case, but I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that it wll be.
For those of you not familiar with the Urewera case, Wikipedia has a rundown. Essentially, in 2007 the cops arrested 18 'suspected terrorists' who were allegedly running military-style training camps in the Ureweras with some kind of idea to take over New Zealand or something. The police attempted to charge them under the Terrorism Suppression Act but the Solicitor-General disallowed that and the charges were reduced to illegal firearms. Thus ensued a lengthy to-ing and fro-ing, including alleged abuses of rights by the police and the refusal of a trial by jury (wut) for the defendants, culminating in the Supreme Court dropping the charges against all but four of the 'terrorists'.
I'd just like to point out here that one of the police allegations was that the people were plotting to assassinate the then-President Bush. This stemmed from a covertly taped phone conversation in which the group laughed about the idea of building a giant trebuchet and firing a bus at him.
Um, yeah. It's been a debacle from start to finish but it's clearly not finished yet. Now, I have no doubt the police would like to silence Tame Iti once and for all. I can see how it would seem something dodgy was going on up in those hills. I believe the four remaining people are being charged with 'belonging to a criminal group.'
Which does not make it ok for the cops to go onto private land and set up cameras to film people doing whatever the fuck they do on their own property. Yet our government seems to think it does, saying that if they don't put this law through, some "very serious" criminals will go free. Apparently there are 40 pending court trials and 50 police operations that will be affected by the law change.
That's a lot of people the cops have been filming illegally. Oh wait, now it's legal! HaHA! See what we did there?
Shit just got real, yo.
So, if you weren't already convinced that this government is playing fast and loose with our legal system and blatantly abusing the lawmaking process, perhaps now you might be. And if not, maybe you will be when the cameras turn up in your house.
For contrast, the government has refused to do anything about the Law Commission's recommendations for the review of the Misuse of Drugs Act. They agree that it's outdated and should be changed, but "slow and steady is the best approach to law reform" and "the government shouldn't make major policy decisions so close to an election."
I don't know about you, but allowing police to get away with illegal surveillance on private property by MAKING IT LEGAL UNDER URGENCY seems like a pretty major fucking policy decision. Just saying.
PS for those who'd like to know more, here is a more detailed rundown.