Estimates Debate – Police

Firstly, I want to praise the police for tracking down and trapping those Israeli Mossad agents who were trying to obtain fraudulent New Zealand passports and undermine our sovereignty. The police did a great job, and it shows that resources should be put into the estimates for the police to do this sort of national security work rather than too much sitting in the Security Intelligence Service budget.

It is obvious that in this particular case the Security Intelligence Service and its Australian partner Mossad did not seem to catch Eli Cara, one of the agents who imprisoned who crossed the Tasman 24 times. It seems that the Security Intelligence Service in this particular case was seen as a bit of a soft touch, and according to the

New Zealand Herald

yesterday there is information that Mossad approached the Security Intelligence Service to try to get its help to get the charges dropped against these Mossad agents.

The SIS’s Australian counterpart, ASIO, did not seem to do anything about Mr Cara or anything about the operation that may have been largely run from Australia. In fact, it seems that the Australian Government is too closely associated with the Israeli Government — a few days ago being one of only six nations in the United Nations supporting the Israeli building that West Bank wall that was condemned by the International Court of Justice. I think the Australian Government and its intelligence services have fallen down very much in not supporting New Zealand in this important matter.

I would also like to praise the police activities on the hikoi. The police did very well in making sure that it proceeded very orderly and peacefully from one end of the North Island to the other.

I would like to contrast that to some of the mistakes that have been made recently in prosecuting other protesters. In the court last week Mr Hopkinson, who burnt a flag at a protest last year, was let free. It was not right for the police to proceed with that prosecution in the first place. That law has been on the books for 22 years. There have been plenty of flag burnings in that time but up until now no prosecutions. That law is contrary to the New Zealand Bill of Rights, as Justice France pointed out in his decision last Friday.

The police should not have proceeded there and the police should not have proceeded with the prosecution against Aucklander Bruce Hubbard for sending an email to the United States Embassy referring to the United States “napalming babies”, which was considered offensive by the people at the United States Embassy. However, that case had to be dropped after quite a bit of harassment of Mr Hubbard because, whether or not we like what he said, it infringed Mr Hubbard’s right to free speech. All of us have the right to free speech.

The third case that the police should not have proceeded to a prosecution with and wasted police time and money is the case of Auckland teacher and animal rights protester Jesse Duffield. He drew the attention of the threat assessment unit of the police because last October he went up to Tegal chicken headquarters with a couple of mates and he handed out a letter saying: “We don’t like the way you’re treating chickens”, and a couple of his mates threw a bit of straw on the floor. He was subject to a charge that has now been dropped. For 9 months he had a large proportion of his possessions seized – his computer, hundreds of discs and videos, cellphones, posters, and even an anti-GE T-shirt produced by the Young Greens in Christchurch 1 or 2 years back. It was just a simple anti -GE T-shirt that was strangley seen as an illustration of nefarious activities.

The police should take heed of these three cases where they have either been overturned by the court or the case has been dropped under public pressure and do the sort of thing they did on the hikoi, work harmoniously with protesters.