Mass Surveillance – Our 13c Worth

It is estimated that the total annual surveillance budget for Five Eyes is $120 billion. Five Eyes is the intelligence operation New Zealand, Australia, Britain, Canada, and the US has teamed up on. It apparently costs 13c (US) a day for surveillance costs per internet user.

By comparison, Oxfam calculate that it would take around $60 billion per year to eliminate extreme poverty worldwide. Continue reading

The Govt Is Worried About Terrorism, But What About Torture?

This week the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Programme. We officially learned that the US was running a state sanctioned torture programme on people detained at the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base until 2009, and probably at other detention centres as well. The programme was allegedly designed by two ex Navy psychologists whose company was paid $81 million by the US government for its work.

What happens now? There is no excuse for torture, anytime, anywhere. The perpetrators must be held accountable. Continue reading

Open Letter to Rt Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade

Dear Minister,
The Alliance Party urges the government not to sign New Zealand up to the Trans-Pacific Agreement. We are convinced this agreement is a major threat to democracy and the sovereignty of all countries involved. It will allow large multinational companies to run roughshod over elected governments and operate contrary to the wishes of the people of the country. We see evidence that this has already begun in New Zealand in the threats of legal action by the big tobacco companies to prevent plain packaging for cigarettes. Continue reading

New Zealand must condemn attack on Gaza relief flotilla

The Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza deserves international condemnation.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the New Zealand government must immediately denounce the attack in the strongest possible terms.

The attack took place in international waters when boats in the flotilla were boarded by Israeli naval commandos. At least 10 people are reported dead and another 30 injured.

Israel has refused to allow ships bearing humanitarian aid into Gaza waters since early 2009 despite condemnation from aid agencies and even the United Nations for doing so.

This has devastated the local economy and left Gazans without essential supplies including building materials to repair homes damaged in Israeli attacks.

The Alliance Party says that there is no excuse for Israel’s actions in either denying vessels carrying aid entry to Gaza waters or the outrageous attack on an unarmed flotilla.