Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke today urged all New Zealanders to take advantage of the opening of submissions on the Government’s terrorism bill to the public.
“Following a great deal of pressure from a range of organisations the Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Select Committee has reversed its decision to rush this bill through under secrecy without any public input,” said Mr Locke.
“Now it is up to the public to make their views on this controversial legislation heard.”
Mr Locke said western nations, including New Zealand had been panicked by the terrorist attacks of September 11 into rushing through draconian legislation which infringed on the freedom of all people.
“New Zealanders should be very concerned about this bill and I urge them to make submissions. Under this bill the definition of the term terrorist is being significantly broadened to possibly include political protestors and those involved in legitimate dissent.
“Under these proposed definitions it is likely that Nelson Mandela’s ANC and Springbok Tour protestors would have been considered terrorists – in fact Robert Muldoon labelled both of these groups as terrorists.
“When you have broad definitions of terrorism, it depends very much on the politics of the Government implementing the bill as to who are defined as terrorists and who are defined as freedom fighters,” he said.