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Government to progress Control Orders for community safety

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill will have its first reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little says.

"The control orders Bill will mean our community is better protected from the risks of the very small number of New Zealand citizens who have engaged in terrorism related activities overseas.

"It is the responsibility of all parties in Parliament to safeguard our national security and protect New Zealanders. A bipartisan approach is the public’s expectation, and that is why the preference of the Coalition Government with support from their Confidence and Supply partner is for consensus across the House.

"With legislation of this nature there is always an important balance to be struck between the essential need for public safety and to ensure measures to achieve this do not encroach unduly on vital rights and freedoms," Andrew Little says.

The Green Party have agreed to support the Bill at the first reading as a result of the following clarifications being agreed:

- New Zealand Courts must have regard to the reliability of overseas jurisdictions when foreign convictions or control orders are used as evidence for a New Zealand control order which is in line with how we treat extradition cases;

- The Court can only use non-disclosable information in cases where there is a real risk to the safety of a person or persons;

- Whenever non-disclosable information is used, the Court must request that the Solicitor-General appoint a Special Advocate who is able to hear the non-disclosable information and act on behalf of the returnee, as is often current practice.

"This Bill will ensure police have necessary powers to keep New Zealanders safe from those who have engaged in terrorism-related activities overseas," said Andrew Little.

A control order could:

- Enable the electronic monitoring of a returnee’s movements

- Restrict a returnee’s access to the internet

- Prohibit the returnee from associating with specified people

- Require the returnee to meet with police twice weekly

- Require the returnee to engage with rehabilitative or reintegrative services

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