The Government’s new “dob-in-a-terrorist” regulations go beyond present security requirements, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Keith Locke said today.
Cabinet has approved tougher rules against the Taliban and Al-Qaida, including a prohibition on providing financial services to them, making it an offence to recruit for or participate in them and making it a duty to report suspicious financial activities.
“There is no urgency for New Zealand to go beyond the present regulations, which already allow the Government to freeze the assets of groups linked to Usama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida network,” said Mr Locke.
“Casting the net wider, to make it a ‘duty’ to report suspicious activities should only be done in considered legislation, where the civil liberties implications can be properly studied.”
Mr Locke pointed out that Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff currently has wide-ranging anti-terrorist legislation before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
“Is Mr Goff using these new regulations to ‘soften-up’ the passage of the even more draconian provisions before the Select Committee?”
Mr Locke said the latest regulations make it all the more essential that New Zealanders take the opportunity to make submissions on Mr Goff’s terrorism bill.