Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - New Zealand
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2009|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - New Zealand, 30 April 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49fac68528.html [accessed 9 March 2014]|
|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.|
The New Zealand government continued to assist Pacific Island Countries' (PICs) compliance with international counterterrorism efforts and focused on legislative and operational capacity-building projects in the region through its Pacific Security Fund. New Zealand convened and chaired the annual Pacific Islands Forum Working Group on Counterterrorism (WGCT), which provided an opportunity for PICs to receive up-to-date information and to coordinate technical assistance projects to assist their compliance with UN Security Council reporting obligations. At the June 2 meeting of the WGCT, New Zealand offered assistance with UN reporting. Similarly, New Zealand used its Asia Security Fund to promote counterterrorism capacity building and a range of partnered regional security initiatives. To address radicalization and terrorist recruitment in the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand continued to participate in interfaith and inter-cultural initiatives such as the Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue and the UN-led Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
A member of the Proliferation Security Initiative's (PSI) Operational Experts Group since 2004, New Zealand attended and presented at PSI meetings throughout the year. In June, New Zealand provided a PSI presentation to the Pacific Islands Forum Working Group on Counterterrorism and raised PSI at the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Meeting in Suva. New Zealand's bilateral PSI outreach included Indonesia, Laos, Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, Egypt, Republic of Korea, and Pacific Island countries.
In October 2007, New Zealand police arrested and detained 17 people and seized a sizable weapons cache, including semi-automatic weapons and petrol bombs. Amid evidence that some detainees were possibly involved in the planning of terrorist acts against the state, 12 of the 17 were later referred for possible prosecution under the Terrorism Suppression Act (TSA), the first time the Act was invoked since it became law in 2002. New Zealand's Solicitor-General, however, declined TSA prosecution but nonetheless prosecuted the 17 arrested under the Firearms Act. In October 2008, the courts acquitted one of the 17 initially arrested in the 2007 raids because of insufficient evidence. The 16 remaining arrestees were on bail pending a future court date. In a related event, the Solicitor-General filed contempt of court proceedings against Fairfax Media and the editor of the Dominion Post newspaper for publishing 13 extracts in November 2007 from conversations recorded during police surveillance of those 17 people detained under possible terrorism charges. The matter remained before the courts at year's end.
In December, the New Zealand Police requested U.S. funding to enable officers of the elite Special Tactics Group (STG) to provide covert in-flight security on 2.5 percent of all flights to or over the United States. New Zealand law already allows armed police on flights to meet international aviation security standards, though the government said none had yet been deployed.
New Zealand remained active in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and worked with coalition partners in undertaking maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf. New Zealand commanded the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan's Bamyan Province, with up to 140 PRT personnel. Three New Zealand Police were based in Bamyan working with the European Police Mission in Afghanistan.