Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - New Zealand
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2008|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - New Zealand, 30 April 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48196ca428.html [accessed 27 May 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In November, New Zealand passed a further amendment to the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002. The main amendments created a generic offense for committing a terrorist act; streamlined the process for designating terrorists (UN terrorist list entities are now automatically designated as terrorists under New Zealand law) and created two new offenses involving nuclear material. To date, New Zealand has designated more than 480 UN listed terrorist entities. The FIU processed over 4,090 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and referred 615 of these to various law enforcement agencies and units for investigations1. Over the same twelve month period, the FIU received five Suspicious Property Reports pursuant to the Suppression of Terrorism Act 2002, none of which were found to have connections to terrorist entities or associated individuals.
New Zealand's counterterrorism efforts were reinforced by its engagement in interfaith and inter-cultural initiatives aimed at countering radicalization and terrorist recruitment. With Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, New Zealand co-sponsored the Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue. The Dialogue involved religious and community leaders from 15 countries from South East Asia and the Pacific, and aimed to foster tolerance, reinforce moderate religious views, and isolate religious extremism. In May, New Zealand hosted the third Dialogue at Waitangi, New Zealand. New Zealand also supports the UN-led Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) initiative, which has developed a framework for practical action to bridge differences and improve relations between faiths, societies and cultures, particularly between Islam and the West. New Zealand convened a Symposium in May to focus regional attention on the AOC Report's recommendations in the four "fields of action": education, youth, media, and migration.
New Zealand is a partner with both the United States in exchanging information on known and suspected terrorists using the Terrorist Screening Center as the operational hub for encounter management, and with the United States in APEC's Regional Movement Alert System (RMAS). Both of these programs enhance our joint ability to disrupt travel by known and suspected terrorists.
On October 15, New Zealand police arrested 17 people and seized a number of weapons, including semiautomatic weapons and petrol bombs, during a series of raids throughout the country and referred evidence against 12 of the 17 people for additional possible prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA), the first time the Act has been evoked since it became law in 2002. Solicitor-General Dr. David declined TSA prosecution; 16 still faced charges.
Also in mid-October, amendments to the TSA legislation were before Parliament. The Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill corrected inconsistencies in the TSA with New Zealand's obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council resolutions on terrorism. It contained proposals on the designation of UN-listed terrorist entities, the High Court extension of designations for those entities, the freezing of terrorists' assets, the terrorist financing offenses, the offenses of committing a terrorist act and participating in a terrorist group. The Bill also introduced new offenses involving nuclear material.
New Zealand closed the security risk immigration case against an asylum seeker, Ahmed Zaoui, after five years of blocking his claim for refugee status on the grounds that he represented a threat to national security (he has convictions in Belgium and France for links to terror groups). On September 13, the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) determined that Zaoui was no longer a security risk and removed the security risk certificate it placed upon him.
New Zealand remained active in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, working with coalition partners in undertaking Maritime Security Operations. New Zealand commands the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Province, as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
New Zealand continued to provide assistance to Pacific Islands Forum member countries to help them submit reports pursuant to UN Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1373, and 1540. Assistance was provided to five Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to date, and of these, four have submitted completed reports to the UN. New Zealand convened and chaired the annual Pacific Islands Forum Working Group on Counterterrorism (WGCT) which provided an opportunity for Pacific Island countries to receive up-to-date information on the international counterterrorism regime and to coordinate technical assistance projects to assist their compliance with UN Security Council reporting obligations. The last WGCT meeting was held in Nadi in June, preceding the annual Forum Regional Security Committee meeting.
New Zealand promoted counterterrorism capacity-building and a range of regional security initiatives through the Asia Security Fund. The Fund supported projects implemented by a range of partners, including regional counterterrorism centers such as the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia and the South East Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism in Malaysia.
1 Under the Financial Transaction Reporting Act 1996, financial institutions (note: which includes banks, money exchanges and casinos) are required to report transactions suspected of being linked to money laundering or proceeds of crime enforcement to the New Zealand Police Financial Intelligence Unit based at Police National Headquarters in Wellington.