Greens agree to support anti-terror law after negotiating changes

The Greens have agreed to support a proposed law that would impose restrictions on returning New Zealanders involved in terrorism after negotiating some changes. 

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said the party has negotiated that foreign convictions and deportations will not be accepted without "proper scrutiny". 

She said the Greens have also "ended the use of secret evidence without an advocate", meaning evidence against a suspect will not be secret and a lawyer, for example, would be able to see it. 

Ghahraman explained to Newshub the use of "secret classified information cannot occur without the information being disclosed to a legal advocate assigned to defend the accused person".

Last week the Greens said they would not support the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill proposed by Justice Minister Andrew Little over human rights concerns.  

Little announced the proposed law last week, which would give the police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders, or restrictions, on New Zealanders who have engaged in terrorism overseas. 

Control orders impose conditions such as electronic monitoring, restricted internet access, restricted association with some people, meeting with police twice a week, and rehab or reintegration. 

Ghahraman said after negotiations the party is now "happy to support this law to first reading because of the changes that satisfy our human rights kaupapa". 

With the Greens and New Zealand First on board, the Justice Minister will be able to pass the legislation in Parliament without the National Party's support. 

Little confirmed earlier this week he met with National leader Simon Bridges and that they discussed the changes National wants before it will give its support for the proposed law.  

Little said he has felt "a little dicked around" by the National Party, after it first offered unconditional support for it, but later put forward the list of recommendations.

"They got the Bill the week before last, they had it for a week, they made their decision to support it to first reading, [and] at the time they told us that they didn't have attached conditions, and on that basis, we introduced the Bill."

Bridges said he felt the legislation didn't go far enough, and last week outlined the changes it wants, including extending control orders beyond six years and lowering the age limit from 18 to 14 years old. 

The law would protect New Zealand from the likes of Mark Taylor, the "Kiwi Jihadist", a New Zealander who lived with IS extremists in Syria for around five years, and earlier this year surrendered to local forces and was jailed in a Kurdish prison. 

Bridges said Little seems to be focusing only on a small number of threats raised by intelligence agencies, and he believes the scope of the Bill needs to be wider. 

"There are many unknowns here that we need to safeguard."