Protest Activity

Overview

In 1977, an amendment to the Act stated that it was not a function of the Service to investigate people or groups of people because of their involvement in protest activities.

When the definition of security was again amended in 1996 and 1999, it was recognised that references to New Zealand's "international well-being and economic well being" could be interpreted to mean that the Service had been authorised to monitor the activities of New Zealanders who might disagree with, or protest against, the economic or foreign affairs policies of the Government. This was not the intention, so a clause was added which further tightened the prohibition on investigating those who exercise their right to lawful protest or dissent. It stated that:

"Nothing in this Act limits the right of persons to engage in lawful advocacy, protest, or dissent in respect of any matters, and, accordingly, the exercise of that right does not, of itself, justify the Security Intelligence Service in instituting surveillance of any person or entity or any class of person or entity within New Zealand".