Submission: APEC 2021 Bill

The Council opposes the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill.

As the strongest democracy in APEC, New Zealand has a responsibility to lead. Instead, this bill proposes for us to adopt anti-democratic measures which would drag us down to the standards of the least functional.

The entire bill runs contrary to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in 1999, to which the Council contributed in 2000 in order to prevent a recurrence of the misguided Police tactics utilised at the 1999 APEC conference.

Among our concerns:

  1. Section 4 proposes to negate the Bill of Rights Act (1990) for the conference.
  2. Section 48 would contravene sections 12, 17, and 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  3. Section 66 would allow searches for no reason.
  4. Sections 71 and 72 propose a much weaker set of standards for searching people than the existing sections 124-126 of the Search and Surveillance Act (2012).
  5. Section 98 proposes imprisonment for infringements of the bill instead of considering a least harm approach.
  6. Sections 111-115 propose to place officers of the crown above the law, not merely granting them immunity from prosecution should they commit crimes, but also denying their victims compensation for their losses.

Read the full text of our submission (PDF).