Monday, September 6, 2021

Ross Meurant: Beware of the words “internal security”

Apropos the question of whether, in New Zealand an individual (as opposed to conspiracy among three or more) planning a crime, can be – arrested and put before the Courts as I recently penned(1), Australia has the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill(2)

Clause 5A of the Bill defines “Carrying out” preparations, credible threats, and attempts as follows:

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a terrorist act is carried out if any 1 or more of the following occurs:

(a) planning or other preparations to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not: 

(b) a credible threat to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:

(c) an attempt to carry out the act:

(d) The carrying out of the act.

As the Government and presumable Opposition, scramble to rectify their collective omissions to tighten up the laws pertaining to threats and acts of terrorism, inclusion of provisions similar to above, will no doubt be an improvement to the current legislation but do not in themselves solve the problem.

Any proposed law also needs to deal more with antepenultimate/penultimate acts of a transgressor, as otherwise the Courts will be required to deal with the indeterminacy of this law and the loop hole which allowed the recent West Auckland incident to eventuate, will remain.

Changes to the Immigration Legislation along the line of section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Aus) are also required to allow for detention while interminable appeals take place in accordance the principles of natural justice and the rule of law.

After the Mosque killings in March 2019 and the subsequent Royal Commission the law could have and should have been amended as a matter of high priority.

There was a known threat and yet the Government sat on its hands.

If the Government had shown the same urgency that it applied to depriving New Zealanders of their democratic right to oppose the imposition of race based Maori wards for local authorities this latest terrorist attack may have been avoided.

This Government’s focus on elevation one ethnic/culture above all others that contribute to making New Zealand (3), regrettably, sends a clear message, where its priorities lie. It is not in protecting its citizens which is its prime obligation.


In my view, we must avoid introducing security measures which are excessive and draconian.

As Voltaire warned:

‘Beware of the words, “internal security,” for they are the, eternal cry, of the oppressor.’

(2) Acknowledgments to Wellington lawyer Graeme Reeves and former National MP and Colin Porter Llb and former NZ police, for contributions to above.

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.

1 comment:

Ray S said...

Well put.
Unfortunately there are those among us who would welcome tighter controls in many areas, including the terrorist legislation.
Obviously some changes are need regarding terrorism but extreme care is required to make sure that any amended laws don't allow further inroads into law abiding citizens lives for reasons other than terrorism.

The old adage "be wary of what you wish for" springs to mind.
We know from history from around the world that giving too much power to government and its agencies has never ended well.