15 Dec 2020

Police seeking more powers to confront terror threat

5:01 pm on 15 December 2020

New Zealand Police are seeking more powers to fight terrorism.

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Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

In the briefing for the new Police Minister, they say they contribute to the delivery of New Zealand's counter-terrorism strategy in a society where there exist "disconnected individuals susceptible to extremist messaging or ideology".

"A systems approach, including early intervention tools, a comprehensive criminal offence regime, and the ability to disrupt international networks, including through preventing financing and stripping assets, is needed to provide an effective, proportionate, and appropriate response to threats."

Police said one immediate priority was the first set of amendments to New Zealand's counter-terrorism legislation "to enable us to intervene early to prevent and disrupt terrorist acts and to manage ongoing terrorism risk".

That includes news offences "to resolve significant gaps relating to planning and preparation, material support, training, and travel".

The Police though also want the "ability to place civil control orders on people convicted of terrorism-related activity who the courts consider will be a high risk when released back into the community (currently this ability only relates to people returning from overseas)".

The briefing says the minister's "support to progress this work will provide reassurance to the public that the National Security System has the appropriate tools to prevent and manage terrorism risk".

"It will also bring our legislative framework more in line with our partner countries and build their confidence in New Zealand's ability to contribute effectively to international efforts to counter terrorism," it concludes.

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