Eroding the Right to Privacy | The Jackal

20 Sep 2011

Eroding the Right to Privacy

On the 14 September it was reported by TVNZ that there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute 13 of the people charged after the anti-terror raids that badly damaged police relations with the people of New Zealand.

Two days later that report was contradicted by this Otago Daily Times article that said they were not going to be charged because the Police had used unlawful means to gain evidence... namely trespassing and illegal video surveillance.

One has to ask the question; why did the Police ignore the law in the first place, and unlawfully pursue civilians on private land, breaching their warrants and privacy laws... and why has this breach of law only been picked up now?

The terror raids happened on 15 October 2007... that's nearly four years of harassment that these people have been subjected to. Let's not forget the cost of the raids themselves and the ongoing court process... This debacle is going to cost the taxpayer millions and millions of dollars. And for what? A few firearms charges. FFS!

Not to be thwarted by a silly little thing called justice, National is moving to suspend the Supreme Court decision on the inadmissibility of video evidence attained unlawfully under current legislation. National is going to use urgency once again to ram through a change to the law to give Police more powers to spy on civilians.

Radio New Zealand reported today:
The Maori Party has said it cannot support knee-jerk legislation to make the police's unlawful behaviour lawful, while the Greens say the use of urgency is offensive in all but the most exceptional of cases.

A Tuhoe leader, Tamati Kruger, says the move will erode an already poor view of the law by Tuhoe people.
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson says:
Rushing retrospective legislation under urgency to allow police to continue video surveillance is not an attack on the presumption of innocence.
However it's unknown at this stage whether the law change will be retrospective to include the Urewera 13.

What is obvious though is National is eroding our civil liberties on an unprecedented scale. Removing the right to silence, the right to choose your own lawyer and the right to a jury trial just a few measures to ensure the prison population continues to grow. Now they want to remove the right to privacy and make the police not beholden to New Zealand's Bill of Rights Act 1990... Unbelievable!

Instead of ensuring that we have an equal society that provides for everybody, National is hell bent on increasing state powers and undermining the very fabric that holds our society together. Their pursuit of totalitarianism based on a presumption of guilt, all at the expense of current law, is something that should not be allowed to happen.

It's undemocratic and dangerous governance that will end badly.