Terrorism in New Zealand?

October 15, 2007

Tonight I’m sad to say I’m worrying about my country.

Maori, environmental and political activists were targeted by raids across the country this morning, and tonight several activists are behind bars facing firearms charges- and possibly more.

From stuff.co.nz:

Police this morning executed search warrants around the North Island with Police Commissioner Howard Broad saying they had moved “in the interests of public safety”.

Firearms were seized and Mr Broad said the raids resulted from an investigation into suspected weapons training camps held over the past year in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

A high level secret government group based out of Prime Minister Helen Clark’s office has been involved in the unprecedented operation.

The search warrants were carried out under the Firearms Act and the Terrorism Suppression Act.

This is the first time the Terrorism Suppression Act has been used, although it appears that so far charges have been laid under the Firearms Act only. More may follow once evidence from the raids has been analysed.

Most of those charged have been given name supression, although the most prominent- Maori activist Tame Iti (whose property appears to have been at the centre of the investigation) has not. The media was asked to leave the courthouse as the hearings took place.

While I have no problem with people being charged with offences under the firearms act- indeed a cache of rifles, shotguns and Molotov cocktails appears to be at the centre of it all- it seems overkill to use the Terrorism Supression Act, and worrying that legitimate activism and community groups have been targeted. There is also something odd about the level of secrecy around it all. Then again I also dislike the sensationalist media reporting of it all- terror plots, guerrilla style training camps and all that fear inducing stuff, so maybe some exclusion of the media wasn’t such a bad idea!

I guess in this day and age we can never be too careful about terrorism…

The numbers of people attending the camps had been in the “tens”, he said.

I’m sure over the next few days and weeks we will hear much more about the threat these tens of activists terrorists posed to New Zealand and New Zealanders.

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6 Responses to “Terrorism in New Zealand?”


  1. Acupofcoffee,
    Like the name! Warm and refreshing. Time here 11:30am and it’s perfect for a cup.

    I used to be a biker in Scotland UK and many of us in those days, being particularly stupid, especially where beer was involved, did things similar to some of these guys. Without the guns or ammo or Molotov.

    A lot of it was macho crap!

    I accept that there is a serious side to your “Maori, environmental and political activists” and I would be sympathetic to that cause.

    Where do we draw the line between genuine danger to society and political activism?

  2. be cool Says:

    Most people who comment on others lives in a negative way, have no life at all. i suggest you take a hard look at your own life, and then see to it.Nobody is perfect nor are you better than the other.You ought to grow up and find the positives in life.life has alot to offer if you look in the right direction.Stop buying into the negative thinking of others.negative thoughts will only destroy the goodness in you.say nice things about others and you will feel good about yourself and not be so angry.is it worth worrying about others problems.just a little something to get you thinking.be cool and handle it. this is not a perfect world and get over thinking it is.there is misery everywhere, thats life.you are not in fantasy land you are in a real world full of real people.all sorts of disturbing things are happening all around the world.be cool and don’t be angry with yourself for your immature thinking.grow up and face reality.

  3. Nate Says:

    “legitimate activism ” since when did this involve firearms, home made explosives and (I’m told) rocket propelled grenade launchers?

    It took less than “10’s” of people to alter the history of the entire world too, Guy Fawkes ring a bell..? a handful of guys hijack a couple of planes and now the world has gone mad… “10’s” of people killed a couple of hundred people in Bali a couple of years back…

    This article is traditionalist left wing anti establishment bullshit.

  4. Sharon Says:

    I have been thinking about these last two comments and whether they deserved a response. I think they do, if only because these people not only stopped to read what I wrote but took the time to leave comments. So…

    “Be Cool”- I’m still wondering how to react to that. It is an strange statement to make about someone you do not know. Saying someone has no life, immature thinking and lives in a fanstasy land is quite inflammatory and insulting, and I don’t think it is a particularly a mature way to talk to someone. In real life I am really a happy optomistic sort of person, however this blog is in some ways a vent for me. I write what I do because I know the world is not perfect, and it does frustate me. Being cool and just looking at the postives will never lead to any solutions for the misery and problems this world faces. Maybe I should post on some more positive things but I will never stop talking about the negatives.

    Nate- while I will own the fact the I am very left- leaning, this police action has drawn criticism not only from the usual activists but from all sectors of society, including People such as Ross Muerant, a former police inspector and right wing politician. I am in no way defending the use of firearms and explosives, and believe people in pocession of those illegally should face prosecution under the appropriate laws, ie the firearms act. My point (and that of much of NZ) is that the use of the Terrorism Act, and the way in which the raids were carried out is unnecessary, fear-mongering overkill and does cause worry to those engaging in legitimate activism.

    Winslie- I should respond to you too! Thanks for your comment. I’m a pacifist, and would agree with the prosecution of anyone in pocession of illegal weaponry. I think a line must be drawn whereever there is a risk to human life however it needs to be done carefully. I just don’t see the need to class activists (or macho bikers!) as terrorists, even if they do have a cache of weapons. Terrorism is a emotionally loaded, politically vague sort of term that does not help in most situations.

  5. Hineatawhai Says:

    Kia Ora and Good Morning:

    Well thought out reflections and just ignore those who try and distract from the real issues by trying to be insulting and personal.

    Yes our country is sadly becoming an “America for Beginners” in terms of “Homeland security” tactics used for Aotearoa. Helen Clark is complicit sadly. And where is Winston Peters in all this I wonder?

    Most importantly since when did activism and protest become anti-thetical to democracy actually they are an integral part of checking that democracy is still in place…but is it in NZ? The whole system of only police deciding who gets prosecuted and no civil court system for recourse is very worrying in cases like these.

    Kia Kaha and keep writing


  6. […] Nov 8th, 2007 by Sharon I am relieved. There will be no charges under the Terrorism Act for those arrested last month (see my previous worried post here). […]


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