12 Dec 2019

Terrorism Suppression Bill to become law after passing third reading

7:33 pm on 12 December 2019

A bill that deals with foreign fighters returning to New Zealand has passed its third reading in Parliament and will now become law.

Andrew Little speaks to media at parliament 30 April 2019

Justice Minister Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

The Terrorism Supression Bill is designed to manage risks posed by the small number of New Zealanders who engaged in terrorism-related activities while overseas.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said under the law change, police would be able to apply to the High Court to impose control orders, which could include electronic monitoring and curfews.

"It does this in a way that balances the rights of people subject to control orders, and upholds New Zealand's role as a global citizen in the efforts to prevent terrorism," he said.

He said the bill was a proportionate response to deal with the risk and support the de-radicalisation of foreign fighters in a way that was consistent with New Zealand's human rights laws.

The bill passed 63 votes to 56.

The bill's future looked to be in jeopardy when it was first introduced, after National pulled its support. But the Greens struck a last minute deal before the first reading, which addressed their party's human rights concerns.

After that, the bill received enough support to go through subsequent readings.

"The Bill has been developed as an urgent response to developments in Syria, but it applies to any terrorism-related activity conducted by New Zealanders overseas, including by right wing extremists and white supremacists," Little said.

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