New Zealand Law Society - Bill introduced to ensure safety at APEC 2021

Bill introduced to ensure safety at APEC 2021

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC 2021) Bill was introduced on 14 November 2019. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Winston Peters is in charge of the bill.

The policy objectives of this bill are to support safe and secure Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC 2021) events. The New Zealand Government will host APEC 2021 from December 2020 until November 2021 with meetings involving senior officials, Ministers and others.

The leaders’ week will take place from 8 to 14 November 2021 and will involve 21 world leaders, Ministers, officials, business people, youth representatives, and media. The requirements of hosting and securing APEC 2021 are of significant scale and complexity.

The main provisions of the bill

Clause 10 enables members of the New Zealand Armed Forces to provide specialist support to the APEC 2021 security operation, while being fully integrated into the New Zealand Police operation and under New Zealand Police control, with the powers of a constable necessary to undertake any functions and training required.

Clauses 11 and 12 create a legislative framework to enable the Commissioner of Police (the Commissioner) to designate APEC security staff with limited powers for fixed periods to provide APEC 2021 security.

Clause 30sets out the purpose of subpart 3 of Part 2 whichis to authorise certain foreign protection officers to carry, possess, and import specified weapons to protect protected persons during the leaders’ event period.

Clauses 47, 48, 49, and 50create temporary powers, and associated offences, for the purposes of—

  • securing APEC 2021 accommodation, venues, and other sites
  • road closures for APEC 2021 security purposes
  • road closures for APEC 2021 motorcades
  • securing maritime areas to manage the water areas surrounding hotels or other locations, and maritime transit corridors

Clauses 82 to 87 provide legislative powers to intervene and respond effectively and appropriately to risks posed by aircraft.

Subpart 3 of Part 3 clauses 90 to 96 enable the New Zealand Police and, subject to approval by the Commissioner, foreign protection agencies to import, use, and export wireless electronic countermeasures (W-ECM) technology during APEC 2021 events.

The Act comes into force on 1 July 2020.

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