Whether the West Auckland stabbing and police killing of the perpetrator, was an attack by a terrorist or just a “deranged nutter”, is a moot point in my view.
Same reassessment must also be asked of the actions of the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacres.
Harbouring contempt for a particular culture or race or group of persons, does not in my view justify being elevated to a terrorist attack.
America is constantly exposed to “deranged nutters” committing mass school yard mayhem. Yet, these tragic events are not uniformly promoted as “terrorist attacks”.
Surely, to qualify as a terrorist attack, there must be an objective to overthrow a government.
If we are to apply random killings by deranged perpetrators as terrorism, the 1990 Aramoana massacre of 13 persons, should be re-calibrated to have been terrorist attack and not a mass murder. (1)
No motive to overthrow the government of New Zealand appeared in the above examples; merely a hatred of one’s fellow human beings – for whatever reasons, possessed the perpetrators at the time.
Therefore, the penchant of politicians to rattle the sabre of, “terrorists in our midst”, does raise the question of political grandstanding.
This in turn presents the golden opportunity for our Guardians aka police & GCSB, to make a grab for more power.
As Voltaire warned: Beware of the words, “Internal security for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.”
In his relentless pursuit of freedom of expression and preservation of the rights of us all, Martyn Bradbury, with predictable regularity and imprecations, sounds Voltaire’s clarion call.
For example, when he penned: “Right now, the NZ Police are using mass surveillance facial recognition software from an Orwellian company that illegally sources photos without any sign off from the Privacy Commissioner or their own Police Boss!” (2)
In a response from me I penned:
“Having been deep in the forest of police intrigue, I can tell you unequivocally, that 50% of what is produced by police spies aka Criminal Intelligence, is either exaggerated beyond reason or totally “invented” to ensure job security and that their paymasters i.e., gullible politicians who thrill at the ride in police car with flashing lights or a tiki tour helicopter ride over denizens below trying to get some sleep before work in the morning, are sufficiently impressed (aka sucked in) that they will approve any request for more power. (3)
More recently, following the “terror attack” in West Auckland, I argued that existing laws, if applied, may have prevented that tragedy. For example, whereas it was claimed that no legal provisions existed to incarcerate a person for planning a crime, I countered with anti-pen ultimate acts constituting an attempt (being statutory and case law which exists).
I do however recognise that the ingredients of the crime of, conspiring to commit crime (Crimes Act), requires three of more persons to engage and do envisage a crime of “planning” per-se with oneself (example collecting data via internet) might be introduced as a new crime. (4)
The 2007 Tuhoe raids where a series of armed police raids were conducted in response to alleged paramilitary training camps in the Urewera mountains, were widely touted as “terrorism”.
Conducted under the mantel of the recently introduced 2002 Terror Laws, this police action was finally brought to heal when the Solicitor General had to decline his permission to proceed with charges laid under that legislation.
The crimes and offences alleged by the police, could have and should have and ultimately were laid under legislation which existed before the 2002 Terror Laws variation was adopted.
Seventeen people faced a total of 291 charges under the Arms Act, including the illegal possession of an AK-47-style rifle, a double-barrel sawn-off shotgun, other military-style semi-automatic firearms and Molotov cocktails.
Point arising? With very few exceptions, current laws do provide all the powers the police need. It’s simply a matter of not being negligent (as I consider police were preceding the Christchurch massacres) and utilising existing laws (as were available in the Tuhoe and West Auckland cases).
As Descartes penned: “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state’ Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.