?

Log in

No account? Create an account

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

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

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.

Comments:

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:September 19th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Does anyone actually write anything on that blog?

Same searches for surveillance.

"There is no way the Maori Party will support after-the-fact legislative change to make the unlawful lawful." If they don't stick to those words, I'd suggest they'd be committing political suicide. And Hone's party would get more votes.

Mana party hasn't weighed in yet either.

Edited at 2011-09-19 09:53 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:September 19th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I just looked at some poll results - they are seriously depressing. I mean, I can understand disillusionment with Labour because they appear to have about as much impact as wet toilet paper - but the Greens are polling down too, which implies those Labour voters are going National and..

.. do we really live in a country full of stupid people?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:richdrich
Date:September 19th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
(Link)
They aren't obliged to support this under their confidence and supply agreement, nor do they have much influence in government beyond their votes. (I guess they could pull out of the C&S agreement, but they won't).

I suspect that Labour will support this, despite the clear opposition of a lot of the thinking minority in that party (e.g. Jordan Carter). Which is one reason I won't vote Labour- which probably doesn't matter to them.

What does affect Labour is that their authoritarian attitude drives a lot of smart liberal people away from the party, which leaves their caucus short of talent. (To pursue a career in Labour, one would need to either be an actual right-wing authoritarian, or care much more about becoming an MP than about the policies of your party). That leaves the party full of useless careerists like Goff, who in turn don't get elected.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:thomasbeagle
Date:September 19th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
One point of note:

NZ does not follow a hardline "exclude all illegal evidence" rule. Rather the courts can choose whether to accept it or not depending on a number of grounds including the seriousness of the offences. In the Urewera case, they chose to exclude it from the minor cases (thus destroying the police case) but keep it for the more serious charges (which is why four people still face charges).

In other words, the government is not just retroactively permitting the police to indulge in illegal surveillance, they're also overriding the responsibilities of the courts concerning the admissibility of evidence - all so that they can get more convictions for *minor* offences.

The point about "very serious criminals going free" is therefore a blatant... misdirection.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:September 19th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yes, I believe the reason the four people still on the hook for the Urewera case are there because of that allowance.

Which makes what the government is doing still more pointless. And scary.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pythia
Date:September 20th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
(Link)
While I think that there WAS something dodgy as fuck going on at Urewera, this is bullshit.

In other National wankery, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1109/S00367/labour-backs-kiwi-women-in-new-policy-for-equality.htm

Once more, with feeling: Fuck you, National!
(Reply) (Thread)