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A democratic giant of Tonga – a tribute

Akilisi Pohiva died on September 12, 2019. This tribute was originally published in The Spinoff. Tongan prime minister ’Akilisi Pohiva will be mainly remembered as the country’s leading democrat. For four decades he campaigned to reduce the powers of the Tongan King...

Green gains a bright spot in a depressing Australian election

This piece was originally published on The Daily Blog.  Australia’s election result was a big downer. But there was a bright spot in the gains made by the Australian Greens. The Green vote in the Senate went up from 8.65% in...

Keith Locke’s submission to the NZ Parliament on the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill

Summary I am strongly opposed to this Bill, and I urge the Select Committee to reject it. The Bill violates the right of Members of Parliament to free speech and the freedom of political association. These are fundamental human rights guaranteed in the New Zealand Bill of Rights. The Bill violates...

Keith Locke: Party-hopping bill is a restraint on MPs’ freedom of speech

The bill before Parliament to stop party-hopping has been misnamed. The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill should be called the Party Conformity Bill because it threatens MPs with ejection from Parliament if they don't conform to party dictates. Personal political integrity will be constrained, except on a few selected "conscience" issues,...

Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill challenges citizen rights to a passport and privacy

On 27 November I gave this "oral submission" to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill, which was being rushed through Parliament with unseemly haste. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and...

Keith Locke: Key jumping the gun over passports

Read this article on the NZ Herald website The Government may well have acted beyond the law in cancelling the passports of New Zealanders intending to join rebel groups fighting the Assad regime. Under Section 18 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, "Everyone has the right to leave New...

Why NZ shouldn’t support Sri Lanka hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit

Below is the text of an Opinion Piece I had published in Wellington's daily newspaper, the Dominion Post, on 3 May 2013. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/8627516/NZs-reputation-at-stake-over-summit-venue NZ''S REPUTATION AT STAKE OVER SUMMIT VENUE OPINION: Sri Lanka is not fit to host this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, writes Keith Locke. The Government needs to explain...

Dotcom case shows the cost of spying is spooky

Oped published in the New Zealand Herald on 18 December 2012 By Keith Locke The Dotcom case is focusing more attention on the Government Communications Security Bureau and its association with the Five Eyes electronic spying network. Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelmann has asked the GCSB to name the entities (including...