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Legislation in Retrospect – Update

“Changes enable police surveillance bill to proceed” (RadioNZ)

I'm Watching You
I’m Watching You

(A follow-up to “Legislation in Retrospect“)

I am pleased that the select committee has changed the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill so that it does not apply in retrospect. This is a move in the right direction.


This Government has now clearly stated that they are prepared to change the law to suit their own interests and not in the interests or basic rights of the people whom they represent.

Once a Government brushes against the allegation of corruption (or corruptive practices and intentions) it is stained permanently.

The fact that they even looked at pushing through retrospective legislation in the first place shows the true nature of the current Government. Who is to say that if they had a full governing majority they would not have just forced that legislation through in spite of public objections?

A warning for the future, perhaps?

Paul S Allen
Barb Wire

Legislation in Retrospect

I'm Watching You

I'm Watching You

Legislation should never be applied in retrospect. 

The New Zealand government is trying to pass this into law at the moment.

Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill

The part of the bill that needs to be opposed or removed relates to the retrospective application.

To retrospectively legalise the illegal activities of officials is a vote in favour of corruption.

We do need to address the use of covert surveillance, but to retrospectively apply the bill could lead to allegations of corruption of the government who are trying to bring a pre-designed outcome to a case that the government is trying to pursue through the courts.

DBHOH_BILL_11056_VideoCameraSurveillanceTemporaryM (pdf)

Part 2
Temporary continuation, and savings

Declaration of continued lawfulness 15

5 Temporary continuation of lawfulness of certain uses of video camera surveillance

  1. (1)  This section applies to the use of covert video camera surveillance as part of, or in connection with, a search, if that use—
    1. (a)  occurred prior to the coming into force of this Act; or 
    2. (b)  occurs before the close of the day that is 1 year after thedate on which this Act comes into force. 

I see this as the thin end of the wedge and sets a precedent for the government to repeat this process for other situations as well.

Any implementation of the bill should only apply to future action.

Legislation should never be applied in retrospect.

Paul S Allen

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