Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Welcome to the NZFBI. Now bend over.

Serious fraud is no longer considered that serious. There is no longer a need to have a dedicated white collar unit to help ensure the NZ business environment is kept clear of fraud. There are more important things than ensuring NZ's business environment remains under observation. Besides, white collar is so last century.

The new
Organised Crime Agency (OCA) will combine the very best elements of CSI and, probably X-Files, if the new unit's remit is anything to go by:
“The very nature of organised crime means that it is dynamic and moves quickly between activities and levels,” she said. “Organised crime spans the width of the criminal activity spectrum.

“This activity includes cyber crime, identity theft and identity fraud, money laundering, extortion, blackmail, fraud and drug manufacturing, distribution and trafficking. Organised crime can also encompass paedophilia networks and politically motivated criminal activity.”
So, fraud has been diluted into a search for kiddy-fiddlers, BZP-runners and " ‘outlaw motorcycle’ groups" as well. Tim Selwyn, step away from the axe.

What special powers will this unit have?
"The creation of cross-agency strategic and tactical intelligence collection and assessment, consistent with the Organised Crime Strategy. This could include the provision of watch lists and standardisation of intelligence storage and dissemination."
The OCA will have their fingers in a number of pies including the GCSB and IRD. In short, the OCA is a government body of unprecedented power. What oversight will ensure that these powers are not abused? Where's the kryptonite?
"The Officials Committee on Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC), which includes representatives from the wider Government community, will provide strategic oversight, coordination and advice to support the OCA’s management and operations.

“The Independent Police Conduct Authority will also have oversight of the OCA in the same way it has oversight of NZ Police. The recently-completed Law Commission report on Search and Surveillance Powers will provide the framework for assigning any such powers to the OCA.”
"Chief Executives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Defence Force, Ministry of Defence and NZSIS, GCSB, NZ Police, Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, Treasury and others as and when necessary. The Chief Executive of DPMC (Maarten Wevers) chairs the group."
Seems like a hell of a lot of people taking drug running way too seriously. And where are the judges and lawyers to represent the people versus the state?

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is a new name for the old boys from the Police Complaints Authority. Here's the punchline:
"[T]he Authority [can] have up to five members. The expanded membership will allow wider representation and strengthen confidence in its independence."