Government takes step forward on counter terrorism laws
The Government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill, designed to boost New Zealand's ability to respond to a wider range of terrorist activities.
The Bill strengthens New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm.
“This is the Government’s first step to implementing recommendation 18 of the Royal Commission into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019, which called for a review of all legislation related to New Zealand’s counter-terrorism effort to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and enables Public sector agencies to operate effectively,” Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said.
“The crimes perpetrated against members of our Muslim community on March 15 two years ago brought terrorism to this country in a way we had never seen before.
“I acknowledge the deep grief of the families and communities who lost loved ones, as well as those who were injured or severely traumatised.
“The attack also mirrored how the nature of terrorism has been changing internationally, involving lone actors rather than organised terrorist groups. We need to ensure our laws can respond to that,” Kris Faafoi said.
The Bill amends the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 and Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Act 2019. The proposed changes include:
- making amendments to clarify the definition of a “terrorist act”;
- create a new offence to criminalise planning or preparation for a terrorist act;
- create a new offence to more clearly criminalise terrorist weapons and combat training;
- create a new offence for international travel to carry out terrorist activities;
- expand the criminal offence of financing terrorism to include broader forms of material support; and
- extend the eligibility for a control order to include individuals who have completed a prison sentence for a terrorism-related offence if they continue to present a real risk of engaging in terrorism-related activities.
Once the Bill has its first reading, the next step is for the Justice Select Committee to call for public submissions on the Bill.
“I encourage everyone to have their say on this important piece of legislation,” Kris Faafoi said.