4 Aug 2009

Search and Surveillance Bill passes first reading

9:57 pm on 4 August 2009

A bill widening the search and surveillance powers of police has passed its first reading in Parliament on Tuesday night.

The Search and Surveillance Bill has come under fire for a provision it includes that would make it compulsory for someone to answer police questions about a serious crime they have some knowledge of.

Justice Minister Simon Power says police could not abuse the provision because they would first have to convince a judge that someone had crucial information.

The bill passed by 112 votes to nine, with the Green Party voting against it.

It will now be considered by the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.