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Close the Waihopai Spybase Now!


Anti-Bases Campaign Statement, 7 February 2000

Close the Waihopai Spybase Now!

Why? What's wrong with it?

Waihopai does not operate in the interests of New Zealand or our neighbours. It is not accountable to Parliament or the people. It is exempt from key provisions of the Privacy Act and Crimes Act. To all intents and purposes, it is a foreign spybase, working for the US. Waihopai intercepts and records your international phone calls. Waihopai is a waste of taxpayersí money, which should be better spent on health and education.

What does Waihopai actually do?

The Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base is located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. First announced in 1987, it is operated by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ).

Its two satellite interception dishes (shielded from public view by giant domes) intercept a huge volume of telexes, faxes, electronic mail and computer data communications. It gathers this data from our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards it on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency. Its targets include international communications involving New Zealanders. The second and newer dish enables Waihopai to intercept satellite phone calls, including New Zealandersí international calls. It spies on our neighbours, people such as the Bougainvilleans and Timorese.

Nicky Hagerís 1996 book 'Secret Power' featured a foreword by former PM, David Lange (who authorised Waihopai's construction). Lange says that politicians and Ministers (including the Minister in charge of security and intelligence agencies, who is always the PM) do not know what goes on there.

New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, and certainly not to citizens.

Waihopai and Tangimoana must be closed immediately.

The GCSB must be abolished.

New Zealand must withdraw from the UKUSA Agreement and other international intelligence agreements.

Anti-Bases Campaign, Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand. cafca@chch.planet.org.nz

Link to earlier alert on Waihopai.

Link to main page on Spies and the SIS

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