Green Party to seek change to Terrorism Act

The Green Party will contribute to the Law Commission’s legislative review following the Solicitor General’s decision not to apply the Terrorism Suppression Act to New Zealanders arrested on arms charges.

“The Green Party will argue for the Terrorism Suppression Act be changed so it doesn’t apply to genuine political dissidents whose breaches of the law have little in common with real terrorism,” said Keith Locke, Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson.

“We are also pleased that the Law Commission will be ensuring an ‘appropriate balance’ between the preservation of public safety and the maintenance of individual rights and freedoms.

“The Green Party’s view is that the Crimes Act comprehensively covers murder, violence or anything that really is of a terrorist nature.

“We would have liked the terms of reference to have explicitly allowed for not changing the Crimes Act or the Arms Act, if the Commission comes to a conclusion that no change is justified.

“The Green Party is also concerned that the terms of reference could imply that any behaviour deemed to be of ‘risk’ or of ‘public concern’ needs to be criminalised. Legal decisions in the Zaoui case were clear that there has to be a real threat to security to justify punitive measures, so as not to capture legitimate protest activity.”