27 Jul 2013

Protests in Auckland, Wellington against security bill

5:32 pm on 27 July 2013

The internet businessman Kim Dotcom has joined hundreds of people rallying in Auckland against the Government's Spy Agency bill.

The march in Auckland is one of several which took place in towns and cities around the country.

Up to 1500 people gathered near Auckland's Aotea Square before the march to listen to speeches from politicians, academics and Kim Dotcom.

He told the crowd the bill made New Zealand a puppet of the US government and called the prime minister John Key, "the biggest puppet of them all."

The rally in Auckland ended outside the US consulate in a bid to show support for the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

There was a similar sized march in Wellington and a smaller one in Christchurch.

The Intelligence and Security Committee this week reported the GCSB bill back to Parliament, with the main changes being an advisory panel to sit alongside the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, and a set of guiding principles.

The Bill's critics say this does not go nearly far enough to ease their fears about the agency being able to legally spy on New Zealanders.