September 28th, 2011


Be part of our political process. Please.

[update] You can now submit on the bill. You have until midnight tonight. Yes that's right, they've given us 12 whole hours to tell them what we want.

So the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill passed its first reading in Parliament last night, under urgency. In case you're wondering and can't be bothered reading, the votes were 105 for, 15 against. Labour flipped and supported it.

*pause here to go chuck my cookies at the state of the so-called opposition here in New Zealand*

So the bill will now go to select committee, and we will supposedly be asked for submissions. So far we haven't been - it's not on the list of Bills for submission yet. I can't urge you enough to make a submission on this. Parliament here makes making a submission very easy - you can do it by email and they often provide guidance on how to do it. Whether any attention is paid is another matter, and here's where every person who's capable of typing a line in this country should be having their say on this issue.

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Have I been clear enough? Please - make a submission.

Meanwhile, it seems organisers of the Arab Spring, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have all been nominated for Nobel prizes. So has Sima Samar. Personally I'd like to give it to all of them (except Assange - I think Wikileaks deserves it more). Being on that judging panel must be a really tough job.

Oh, and on the house front, it turns out there had been some small damage to the wall in the lounge in three places. The tenants had fixed it with plastering, but then painted over with the wrong colour so it's obvious. The agent is getting the painters in (heh) to sort it out and the owner will pay. The oven hadn't been cleaned and the kitchen floor is sticky from the leaving party, but other than that it's good. *phew*

Submissions are open now

They have opened submissions on the Video Surveillance Bill. They have generously given us until midnight tonight to make our submissions - yep, a whole 12 hours! So get to it.

Here's mine:

"I unequivocally oppose the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill.

I have three main reasons for opposing the Bill:

1. There already exists a mechanism by which a court may admit video footage covertly obtained without a warrant by discretion of the court in cases deemed sufficiently serious. This Bill is unnecessary.

2. Permitting police to covertly install video surveillance equipment on private property without a warrant is in breach of the Bill of Rights Act 1990 Part 2 Section 21: "Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise." The Bill constitutes a fundamental undermining of human rights in New Zealand.

3. Retrospectively making legal an illegal act already committed by police in order to influence the outcome of existing court cases undermines the power of the judiciary and places that power with the legislature. This goes against the fundamental principle of distributed power on which our government is founded, and makes a mockery of our justice system.

I cannot repeat more strongly: this Bill should not be passed in its current form. The use of urgency to read this Bill and the limited time allowed for submissions is unconcsionable and should be reprimanded."