20 Nov 2019

Bill allowing APEC security firearms, surveillance passes first reading

5:44 pm on 20 November 2019

A bill allowing overseas security agents to carry illegal guns while in New Zealand for the APEC summit has passed its first reading, without support from the Greens.

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Golriz Ghahraman Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

Greens justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman said the country's existing laws should be enough to provide security for any foreign visitors during the summit in 2021.

She said force was most commonly used against persons of colour both here and overseas - putting certain communities at greater risk than others.

Parliament should instead prioritise the rights and security of the New Zealand public, Ms Ghahraman said.

In the past, governments have allowed these sorts of exceptions for big international events and while it had become part and parcel of hosting, she said New Zealand should push back.

"There's no need to change which guns are allowed in New Zealand or how restricted firearms are imported.

"At a time that we're reforming our domestic gun laws it doesn't make sense to move the other way for this meeting," she said.

"The bill also allows for restrictions on movement of people living in private apartment blocks and areas being used by APEC visitors, and raises privacy concerns due to the authorisation of wireless electronic countermeasure (W-ECM) technology, a form of surveillance that foreign intelligence services would be allowed to use against the public here," Ms Ghahraman said.

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