Counter-terrorism bill a step in the right direction

Today’s passage of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation bill is a significant step in the right direction against terrorism in New Zealand, says National’s spokesperson for Counter-Terrorism Mark Mitchell.

“To see a significant piece of legislation passed today with urgency is great for New Zealanders in the course of keeping them safe.

“In the wake of the attack at Lynn Mall, one of the few places Aucklanders could go while locked down, efficiency was required to further safeguard New Zealanders against what is a growing global threat.

“With support from National, this has been achieved. 

“However, there’s more that must be done. We want the Government to move with the same pace on approving recommendations one and two of the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch attacks, which give a Minister accountability and responsibility for the counter-terrorism effort and the establishment of an umbrella agency to coordinate it.

“By making a Minister accountable and by creating a specialist agency, we can close the gaps in the counter-terrorism effort and keep Kiwis safe. This would be in keeping with our intelligence partners around the world, who are light years ahead of New Zealand in protecting their people.

“What we know at the moment is that the Government is slowly making its way through a strategic review of our counter-terrorism measures, with a report back by the end of the year. 

“Time is of the essence if we are going to protect Kiwis and the Government needs to make these recommendations happen as quickly as it can.

“This threat is not going away and will not wait for another hui or review. We need action now.”

You can read an answer to a Written Parliamentary Question below:

Portfolio: Response to Report on the Christchurch Terrorist Attack (Hon Andrew Little)
Question: Which Minister, if any, has been delegated responsibility and accountability to lead and coordinate the counter-terrorism effort, in accordance with recommendation 1 of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report?

This recommendation will be considered as part of a strategic review of New Zealand’s national security policy settings and alongside recommendations 2 and 3 for broader machinery of government changes. This review will inform a strategy for how government – in partnership with the public – will pursue national security aims and will be critical to giving effect to the Royal Commission’s recommendations and intent. I am seeking updates through the Minister for National Security and Intelligence on a quarterly basis and will provide a formal update to Cabinet before the end of 2021.