Monday, October 10, 2011

The Video Bill is now law

The Video Surveillance Bill is law. It was passed on October 6th, 2011.

The Bill makes it explicitly lawful for government agencies to use covert video surveillance under a warrant for private property. In plain language, it legalises police breaking the law and planting secret surveillance cameras inside peoples' homes.

The bill has retrospective effect, ensuring that all video footage can be used as evidence and that previous convictions that relied on video evidence are not open to appeal.

Monday, October 3, 2011


It is only days now until Parliament votes on the law that would legalise covert video surveillance by Police, Fisheries, SIS and Customs. This bill must be stopped! It is the most serious assault on our fundamental freedom and rights in our lifetime. As it stands, no warrant is even required to conduct video surveillance.

We are asking everyone to take two minutes to email members of Parliament who have not decided which way to vote and tell them to vote ‘NO’ on the bill. It is likely to be voted on this Thursday (October 6). At present, the National party does not have the numbers to pass the bill. It only has the support of United Future. It needs 3 more votes – so we want to make sure that neither the Labour Party nor the ACT party support this dangerous bill from becoming law. The Green, Maori and Mana parties do not support the bill at all.

Please email any member of parliament you like. We would certainly encourage in particular emails to:

ACT party
Rodney Hide –
John Boscawen –
Roger Douglas –
Hilary Calvert –
Heather Roy –

Phil Goff –
Annette King –
David Parker –
Charles Chauvel –
Grant Robertson –
David Cunliffe –
Ruth Dyson –
Clayton Cosgrove –
Maryan Street –
Trevor Mallard –

The most important thing to say is:

Other things you can say are:
  • It is an assault on the rule of law as it retrospectively legalises illegal police actions
  • It is an assault on the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure
  • It is an assault on the right to privacy
  • You don’t want any expansion of the power of the state to surveil people
The police and government have been misleading the public by saying that the bill will ‘restore the common law position’ - the police have never had the power to do trespassory video surveillance. The police knowingly broke the law and should be prosecuted.

The ONLY submission received in support of this law was from Police. All other submissions – including the Law Society, Criminal Bar, civil society organisations and hundred of individuals all opposed this bill.

Monday, September 26, 2011

March Against the Police State

'There will be an urgent protest march on Saturday, October 1st at 2pm starting from Cuba Mall stage to oppose the government's plan to retrospectively legalise illegal video surveillance by the police,' said Batch Hales, member of the Campaign to Stop the Search and Surveillance Bill.
'The State is set to legalise unlawful video surveillance by police to cover cases already before the criminal courts. In doing so, they are validating illegal conduct deliberately engaged in by the police. They plan to pass this law under urgency within the next week. This is an outrage. People across the country are deeply concerned about this issue. We must stop this further fundamental assault on our freedoms and roll back the expanded police state.'
'Most people will have heard that John Key wants to legalise police breaking the law and planting secret surveillance cameras inside people´s homes so that it applies retrospectively - eg. to cases that have already been investigated and are now being prosecuted. That is, quite simply, contrary to fundamental constitutional principle and a serious violation of individual human rights. It is the police who should be prosecuted.'
'As importantly is the revelation that the police are breaking the law ALL THE TIME. This use of secret video surveillance is in widespread use by police without any legal authority. The police break the law, and then they hope that the court system will allow it under the Evidence Act. Along with this urgent bill, the Search and Surveillance Bill needs to be thrown out.'
'The expansion of State surveillance is fundamentally about controlling the population. It comes at a time of high unemployment, when the entire benefit system is being gutted and public services privatised. Surveillance by the State is about controlling the growing poor and underclass in our society who have nothing to lose, because they have nothing. They are being squeezed at every point: the State is seeking to repress any resistance to the greed of the rich and powerful who have been busy taking corporate welfare, and stealing resources and land.
'We must resist the police state in all its forms - all the mechanics of control and compliance that require we sacrifice freedom for manufactured lies and fear about `criminals´.' concluded Batch.