Greens endorse call to open old SIS files

Green MP Keith Locke is echoing the call from the country’s top academics for the Government to open up the archives on the SIS.

Senior political science staff from the country’s top tertiary institutions have signed an open letter to Prime Minister Helen Clark calling for New Zealand to follow the norm of its allies and open up security service archives older than 30 years.

“The SIS has been operating in this country since 1956,” said Keith Locke. “Surely there’s at least some material from the 1950s and 1960s that is no longer ‘top secret.’

“The fact that so many of the country’s top political scientists have signed this letter ‘in the interest of a more democratic and open society’ should persuade Helen Clark to order the SIS to start releasing archived material.

“Does the Government really fear that material that might have embarrassed a government 40 years ago would still be embarrassing today? The SIS may have made mistakes during the Cold War dramas of the 50s and 60s but surely one of the aims of historical research is to allow us to learn from the mistakes of the past.”