10 Dec 2014

Parliament approves anti-terror laws

7:17 am on 10 December 2014

Just two weeks after it was introduced, the Government's new anti-terrorism legislation has passed its final reading.

It was pushed through under urgency last night and passed by 94 votes to 27 with the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party voting against it.

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The legislation aims to intercept local supporters of the Islamic State group and would allow the SIS to carry out surveillance without a warrant for 24 hours.

It also allows the government to cancel of passports for longer, from one year to three years, where the person poses a risk to security.

John Key with US President Barack Obama earlier this year. The US is leading an alliance against Islamic State.

Prime Minister John Key with US President Barack Obama earlier this year. The US is leading an alliance against Islamic State. Photo: AFP

During the earlier part of the debate, the New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, berated the Government for what he considered its slack immigration policies.

He loudly chastised a National Party MP for heckling him during his speech.

"He's got no idea who he's brought in from the Middle East, and they bring them in in their thousands ... look ignorance is not bliss."

National's David Bennett took umbrage with Mr Peters' comments calling his speech 'disgusting'.

"New Zealand is a country made up of people from different religions, different races and different cultures and people have come to this country at different times and they are all New Zealanders.

"How dare that party say that it holds up New Zealand security when all it wants is the 1950s."

Labour's Phil Goff was similarly unimpressed.

"We should not cast a slur on any individual because of their ethnicity and their religion.

"If we can create a decent society that does not marginalise and alienate any of our communities, then we will not have the problem of terrorism."

Both Phil Goff and his colleague David Shearer stressed that the Government must more work more closely with the muslim community.

The Minister responsible for legislation, Chris Finlayson, responded to those calls during his final speech.

"I take those matters very seriously and I pledge to work with local communities over the next period including during the period of the broader review."

Follow Chris Bramwell on Twitter @rnzgallerychris

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