Dunne backs expanded spy powers

ANDREA VANCE AND VERNON SMALL
Last updated 16:57 22/07/2013

Relevant offers

Politics

Ministry for Primary Industries 'too big' and putting manuka honey at risk - Labour Labour forced to rethink spending, tax policy after big Budget 'incomes' package Central Auckland millennials less likely to vote in the general election Geoffrey Palmer: Social insurance scheme has turned into a lottery Warning after fraudster Joanne Harrison's doctored CV and mystery flights revealed Government sets aside $6m in budget to help build water resilience in Wellington Government accused of playing politics with Wellington's transport future Barclay says he will not let Lumsden Maternity Centre close Government considering sending more troops to Afghanistan at request of US NZ First Clutha-Southland candidate Mark Patterson keen to shine light on local issues

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says he will support controversial legislation to expand spying powers.

Dunne said he was willing to vote for the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment bill after ''major amendments''.

He voted for the bill at first reading, but then raised concerns after he was forced to resign over suspicions he leaked a report into the GCSB.

The legislation would allow the foreign intelligence agency to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the police, Defence Force and Security Intelligence Service.

Dunne said Key had agreed to a number of changes which included:

* specific legislation to add any agencies allowed to request assistance from the GCSB. The current proposed bill only required an Order in Council, which is not voted on by Parliament

* the watchdog overseeing the GCSB, the Inspector General  of Intelligence and Security, must be informed when a warrant is put on the register relating to a New Zealander

* an annual report from the GCSB on the number of times it has assisted other agencies

* annual public hearing of Parliament's closed door Intelligence and Security Committee to discuss  financial reviews of the performance of the GCSB and the SIS

* an independent review of the security services in 2015, and then every five to seven years

Key had already conceded to establishing a set of guiding principles into the legislation and the establishment of a two person advisory panel to assist the work of the Inspector-General.

Key said the amendments were "significant and sensible."
He confirmed ACT's John Banks would support the bill, giving the Government a Parliamentary majority.
"I remain open to discussions with other parties in Parliament to increase support for the Bill, so it can pass with a larger majority," he said.

"However, I am confident this amended legislation strikes the right balance between privacy and national security."

Dunne said he would also work with Justice Minister Judith Collins on privacy invasion issues raised by the Law Commission in 2010.

He wanted a standard definition of private communication and meta-data across all legislation, including the GCSB and SIS acts, and the Crimes Act and the Search and Surveillance Act.

Dunne said the changes ''substantially'' addressed his concerns about the legislation. He said they improvd the ''accountability of the GCSB and the transparency of its operations, as well as updating and modernising the definitions of private communications to meet today's circumstances.''

Ad Feedback

The ISC was meeting this afternoon to discuss changes to the legislation, which is due to be reported back to Parliament by the end of the week. Labour and the Greens were opposed to the new powers without an independent inquiry into the intelligence services. National also had the support of ACT.

- Fairfax Media

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content