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The Government has put the safety of New Zealanders at risk by forging ahead with a weak Terrorism Suppression Bill and voting down National’s proposed amendments, National’s Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

“The safety of New Zealanders is paramount to National, and this Bill does not go far enough. The purpose of the sensible changes we put forward is to keep New Zealanders safe.

“Labour and New Zealand First have sold out to the Green Party. Justice Minister Andrew Little had the opportunity to work with the National Party in good faith to put forward a strong Bill, but instead he chose to placate the Green Party with weak provisions that do not provide optimal protection for New Zealanders’ safety.

“The current Bill completely fails at its first test of being able to detain someone at our border long enough until a control order has been issued by the High Court.

“If you’ve been in or around the business of terror you deserve to be monitored for the protection of everyone. There are no exceptions.

“National will not support a Bill where the Government, led by the Green Party, are trying to fool Kiwis into believing they will be protected. Under this Bill they will not.

“New Zealand should be sending a strong message that terrorism won’t be tolerated and that we will protect our communities at all costs. Instead what we’ve got is a weak Bill that will see the hand of our intelligence agencies weakened and will bog any proposed suppression orders down in the Courts.

“It was especially disappointing that despite the seriousness of the Bill no Government members bothered to speak about it in Parliament last night.

“In short the Government has put the safety of New Zealanders seriously at risk all because it refused to work constructively with the National Party. New Zealanders don’t deserve that.”

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