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Iti wants more debate on anti-terror bill
27 November 2014

Ngai Tuhoe kaumatua Tame Iti says the Government has not allowed the public to understand new anti-terror laws.

Tuhoe elder Tame Iti

Tame Iti

Photo: RNZ / Graeme Acton

If passed, the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill would allow the Security Intelligence Service to carry out surveillance without a warrant for 48 hours and extend possible passport cancellations.

The bill passed has passed its first reading and public submissions, which only opened yesterday, closed today.

Mr Iti was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing firearms and a Molotov cocktail at the time of police raids in Te Urewera in 2007.

He believed the nation needed more time to debate the issues and respond to what had been set out in the bill and said from personal experience, it was not a nice feeling to be spied on.

Urs Signer, who was also arrested and sentenced to home detention on firearms charges, believed the provisions in the bill would be used against community activists like himself who want a free and peaceful society.

Police have not apologised for carrying out the raids, but in August this year acknowledged the hurt and loss they caused to innocent people caught up in the operation. Commissioner Mike Bush said the mana and credibility of the Tuhoe people had been damaged.

In October 2007, officers set up two unlawful road blocks in the area, detained innocent people and searched private property while hunting for people they believed were involved in military-style training camps in Te Urewera Ranges.

Police believed more than 60 people had attended six training camps in 2006 and 2007 and that they had used a range of weapons, including Molotov cocktails, and had been practising ambush and interrogation techniques.

The select committee heard the submissions under urgency today and would report back to Parliament next Tuesday. The Government wants the bill passed before the House rises for Christmas on 11 December.

Read the original RadioNZ Te Manu Korihi article here.

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