GSCB Bill: Poll Reveals Three-Fourths of New Zealanders Concerned with Privacy, Only Half Trusts Government

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By Reissa Su | August 22, 2013 12:35 PM EST

A Fairfax poll in New Zealand revealed that more than three-quarters of New Zealand citizens were concerned about the government reforming spy laws in the passing of the GSCB Bill.  In a survey of 1,000 New Zealanders, the poll found that 75.3 per cent of the people expressed that they were either "very concerned," "somewhat concerned" or "little concerned" about the Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB) to monitor their activities including foreigners who are in New Zealand. 

The results of the poll were contrary to Prime Minister John Key's statement that Kiwis do not care much for the GSCB Bill.  Mr Key has previously indicated that there was little interest in the small number of changes to be imposed using the GSCB law compared to people's response to snapper quotas. 

While three-fourths of New Zealanders were concerned over the GSCB law, about 500 or half of the survey respondents said they trusted the government to continue to protect their privacy.  Forty per cent of the respondents have no trust in the government. 

The controversial GSCB Bill, which has sparked protests in Auckland, officially became a law to allow the New Zealand government to expand its domestic spying powers.

The people's support for the Labour Party was at a low 30 per cent despite making bold promises to improve policy. The Fairfax poll also showed that if elections were held in New Zealand today, 31.6 per cent of voters would choose Labour.  The poll result was a serious drop of five points compared to the result in January 2013.

The National Party is currently dealing with public pressure due to changes in the GSCB Bill and snapper quota. Support for National dropped only 1 point with 48.3 per cent. 

Labour pledged in the last two months to ban foreigners from New Zealand's housing market to help out New Zealanders struggling to buy their first home.  

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