9 Aug 2013

Opposition to keep applying pressure on GCSB bill

10:59 am on 9 August 2013

Opposition MPs say they now have another few weeks to keep the Government under pressure over the legislation allowing the Government Communications Security Bureau to spy on New Zealanders.

So far, however, they have failed in their repeated attempts to fundamentally change the bill as it makes its way through the House.

Parliament has debated most of the bill's committee stages but it won't come out of committee until at least 20 August, when the House resumes. The third and final reading is likely to be later that week.

The Green Party says the Government has only a one-vote majority, and its MPs intend to keep applying pressure to the two MPs supporting the National Party on the bill - United Future's Peter Dunne and Act's John Banks.

Green co-leader Russel Norman says Act is supposed to be the party of liberty "and here they are voting for a bill which dramatically increases state power".