By John Tamihere
I think we all agree that it is absolutely important that our Police force and our security and intelligence agencies have significant power and authority in terms of search, seizure, investigation and inspection. As New Zealanders we are fiercely independent. We have fought for and will continue to defend our sovereignty, at all costs.
Consequently we are equally suspicious about ensuring that our Police force and agencies, who have huge power and authority, assert that power and authority fairly, reasonably and legally.
Last week we learned that the Government Communication Security Bureau (GCSB), which is funded at over $68 million dollars a year, acted illegally. This agency, together with our Security Investigation Service (SIS), reports directly to the Prime Minister. We know that the Immigration Department acting with SIS information knew all about Kim Dotcom and his chequered history. Despite this, the present Government approved him to be a Kiwi resident. This gave him the rights of a New Zealand citizen.
The well funded GCSB did not know that Kim Dotcom was a New Zealand resident. Furthermore, our multi-million dollar police department did not know. The Member of Parliament where Kim Dotcom lives did not know he had a high profile multimillionaire living in his electorate. The same Member of Parliament did not know that search and arrest warrants were being executed on Kimdotcom’s residence with the support of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, in his own electorate. The same Member of Parliament is reported to, no less than 15 times, by his GCSB. The same Member of Parliament had no idea that Bill English would sign a Minister’s Certificate gagging the Court from finding out about the extent of GCSB involvement in the Kimdotcom case. That same Member of Parliament did not know that Bill English would also provide an indemnity to the same Court.
That Member of Parliament happens to be our Prime Minister John Key. Just as he did not want to know about the Police investigation into John Banks, you have to wonder whether the New Zealand Police force have to now be renamed Keystone Cops. You have to wonder why we do not rename the SIS and the GCSB as the KDA – Key’s Dad’s Army. This whole saga reads like an outstanding comedy or a Shakespearean tragedy.
All Governments rise and fall on matters of integrity, credibility and honesty. The huge reservoir of goodwill that John Key was elected on has been punctured. The real question is how much of a puncture and how fast the reservoir will leak.
It just does not sound credible that our Prime Minister could be left so exposed and so unaware, given that he ultimately is responsible for these security agencies. As usual, Paul Neazor delivered a report to the Prime Minister saying that while the acts of the GCSB were illegal, they were only caused by some confusion. You know that nobody will suffer any consequences of this attack on the rights of a New Zealander, to not be spied on and to not be handed over as a sacrificial lamb to any foreign power, whether it is called the United States of America or not.
Sunday News, 30th September 2012