6 May 2013

PM seeks Peters' support for spy law

10:33 pm on 6 May 2013

Prime Minister John Key is seeking the support of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters for legislation updating the laws governing the country's electronic spy agency.

The range of amendments include allowing the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of police, the Defence Force and the Security Intelligence Service.

They are being put in place after it was revealed that internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, a German national with New Zealand residency, was monitored illegally by the agency.

John Key said on Monday he is willing to compromise on the legislation to get New Zealand First's support.

"I've written to Mr Peters this afternoon; I've asked him if he'd like to have a meeting and have a discussion about his recommendations.

"I've sought some advice on the workings of his recommendations which are around a panel and I would believe that's possible."

The amendments will be debated for the first time in Parliament this week and Mr Key expects the bill to pass its first reading.

The public will be able to make written submissions and the Intelligence and Security select committee will hear them.