The Human Rights Commission broadly welcomes the report of the Cullen/Reddy Review, considering it well-judged and reflective of New Zealand’s democratic values.
“We have been advocating comprehensive legislative reform to repair the gaps and inconsistencies in the current regime for some while now and support the reform direction which the inquiry has adopted,” said Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford.
“Our view consistently has been that if we abandon or compromise our rights to privacy and to freedom of speech and association, the terrorists win. What is needed is a proportionate response to the threat posed by extremism which starts from the position that privacy and security are complementary rather than competing rights.
“This the Review has delivered, to its great credit.”
The Commission wholeheartedly endorses the Review’s central conclusions that there should be a single, integrated and comprehensive statute governing the security and intelligence establishment and that this should take as its fundamental purpose the protection of New Zealand as an open, free and democratic society.
The design principles the Review advocates are proper authorisation, clarity, transparency and accountability.
“Properly applied, these should go a long way to allay public concerns about misuse of power or unnecessary intrusion into the lives of New Zealanders,” said Mr Rutherford.
“The Commission has engaged in and will continue to engage in the review process because there are important issues at stake. We consider that the results are a significant improvement on the status quo and compare well from a human rights perspective to the responses of the other Five Eyes members.”
The Commission will further consider the report.
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