28 August, 2012
Search and Surveillance Act to commence
Justice Minister Judith Collins announced today that the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 will come into force on 1 October 2012 following the signing of the commencement order by the Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae.
Some provisions of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 came into force on 18 April 2012 upon the expiry of the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Act. The remainder of the Act comes into force on 1 October 2012.
Ms Collins says our messy, unclear and outdated search and surveillance laws have been replaced by ‘order, certainty, clarity and consistency’.
“From 1 October there will be greater clarity and certainty for judicial officers, enforcement agencies and those subject to searches. All will be sure of exactly what they can and cannot do, and what must be done to protect human rights and privacy.
“Criminals will no longer be able to use technology that outpaced the law, or exploit legal loopholes that overlooked their offending. We now have a search and surveillance regime fit for the 21st century,” Ms Collins says.
The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 will apply the search regime to over 70 different enactments, from the Animal Welfare Act to the Wine Act. The Act will be reviewed within the next four years to ensure that it is operating effectively and to consider any necessary changes to improve it.