Saturday, 31 May 2014

NZ politics

SIS found to have acted unlawfully
A report from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has found the SIS acted unlawfully when officers issued  a verbal warning to a person of interest two years ago.


31 May, 2014


The incident in July 2012 happened when the SIS searched a suspect's house, seizing a laptop and computer.

The report was carried out by former Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Andrew McGechan who said the SIS officers had the appropriate search and seizure warrant.

However, he said the verbal warnings they gave to the occupants were not warranted.

The exact warning has been blanked-out in the report but relates to conveying 'a message from the New Zealand Government', about an unspecified plot.

Mr McGechan said the law allowed the SIS to collect intelligence - but not issue warnings. He said the officers didn't believe the warning was unlawful.

Prime Minister John Key said on Friday he thinks SIS officers should be allowed to issue verbal warnings and they should be appropriate.

"An SIS officer saying, 'I am from the SIS and you really should stop doing that' is appropriate, now the outgoing Inspector General has raised a question about whether that is lawful, and so we've actually ceased giving warnings at the moment."

Mr Key said he was seeking Crown Law's advice on the matter.

Key `crossing the line' on case – Laila Harre

The Internet Party leader, Laila Harre is accusing the Prime Minister of crossing the line over his repeated comments that Kim Dotcom is only supporting the party to escape extradition.

From left, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre, Kim Dotcom and Vikram Kumar.
Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker-Wilson

31 May, 2014


The internet entrepeneur has so far funded the Internet Party to the tune of about $4 million.

John Key is suggesting Mr Dotcom is only doing that so, if the party is included in the next government, he can influence a potential future Justice Minister to stop his extradition.

Ms Harre says the extradition hearing has not been held yet, and Mr Key should stay out of such a sensitive legal issue.

She says Mr Key's comments are also inappropriate because he could be perceived as trying to influence the judiciary.

Refreshing

Ms Harre, a long-time unionist and former Alliance Party politician, told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Friday that it was refreshing to see a wealthy donor backing a progressive party rather than supporting the status quo.

"I feel very lucky to be in a position where resources are available to take on the establishment rather than the conventional approach, which has been for big money to support the status quo and to shut down change, particularly for young people," she says.

Ms Harre says Mr Dotcom's funding of her party was not an example of money corrupting politics.

Mr Key said the only people who would vote for the Internet-Mana Party would be those from the far left of politics.

He said Ms Harre and Mr Harawira were extreme left-wing politicians, so from National's point of view it was of no great relevance.

"But if you're Metiria Turei and Russel Norman and maybe David Cunliffe, you might be just a little bit more worried."

An internet and technology commentator says Ms Harre's appointment as leader was a further move away from the party's original intent.

Ben Gracewood says he was completely baffled by the move.

"It started off, the Internet Party, as a single issue, quite clearly articulated. And since then merging with Mana and Laila Harre joining, I literally am quite confused."

Mr Gracewood says the appointment of Ms Harre has firmly planted the Internet Party on the left wing.

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