For those not in the know, Anne Marie Brady, the author of important works on NZ’s relationship with China, has been the victim of apparent threats and sabotage which the government seems rather reticent to address. The Canterbury University professor has been the subject of international calls for protection following home break-ins and the theft of laptops.Martin Harris
Labour MPs vote against allowing China expert Anne-Marie Brady to speak at justice select committee
By: Lucy Bennett Political Reporter, NZ Herald (7 March 2019)
Labour MPs on the justice select committee have voted against allowing China politics expert Anne-Marie Brady to make a submission on foreign interference in elections.
National MPs supported Brady, a professor at Canterbury University, giving her view on the issue which is a focus of the committee’s inquiry into the 2017 general election and 2016 local elections.
The eight-strong committee is evenly split between National and Labour MPs and today’s vote against means Brady cannot appear.
National MP Nick Smith, who is a member of the committee, said it was concerning that Labour blocked Brady from making a submission on the critical issue of protecting New Zealand from foreign interference in its democracy.
“This has become a huge issue in other liberal democracies, whether it’s the United States, Australia, UK, Canada or Western Europe.
“If the committee is going to do its job for Parliament, we need access to both government officials but also New Zealand’s most published author on the subject,” Smith told the Herald.
He said the Labour MPs’ reasons for blocking Brady’s appearance were “disingenuous”.
“They said ‘we should only hear from government officials’ when Parliament needs to be able to hear from a wide range of expert views to be able to complete its inquiry successfully,” he said.
Submissions closed in September but that was before the committee and Justice Minister Andrew Little decided that the issue of foreign interference was going to be the focus of the inquiry.
Brady said in a statement that the coalition Government had made it clear in two public strategy documents, as well as classified briefing papers made public, that it was very concerned about foreign interference activities in New Zealand and wanted address them…READ MORE