Review of the Search and Surveillance Act to commence next year


The Minister of Justice has confirmed that the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 will be reviewed as part of the Government’s response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on the Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019.

The Act controls how and when Police and other law enforcement agencies can search people or property and carry out surveillance.

“The Government is committed to continuing progress on the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and we want to do that with the broadest community support possible for any reforms that follow from measures to implement the Royal Commission’s findings,” Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said.

“Part of building that support is through ensuring meaningful engagement which allows people the opportunity to share their views and lived experiences,” Kris Faafoi said.

Recommendation 18 of the Royal Commission’s report calls for a review of all legislation related to counter-terrorism to ensure it is current and enables public sector agencies to operate effectively.

The review of the Search and Surveillance Act responds to this recommendation while also considering recommendations made by the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice when they jointly reviewed the Act in 2016/17.

The first phase of the review will involve working with Māori groups and with ethnic, faith-based, youth, rainbow and other interested communities. This will take place over 2022.

“The focus will be on understanding their experiences with the powers in the Act,” Kris Faafoi said.

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