DNA Law will bring Maori into Conflict with Police

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Acting prime minister Bill English is playing down the fears of Maori Party MP Rahui Katene that new DNA sampling laws will bring young Maori into conflict with the police.

The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Act was passed under urgency yesterday with only the Maori Party and the Greens voting against it.

Mr English says DNA sampling is a potent weapon in the fight against crime and the police are keen to expand its use.

Comments that Rahui’s made means there are many people going to be keeping a very close eye on it because youve always got to be careful the police use the discretion theyve got carefully, that they dont overstep the mark and I think its the same with any police power. It will be accepted by the community if its used wisely and well and it will be the same with DNA, Mr English says.

The law fulfills a National 2008 election campaign promise.

A similar law in the US (Indiana) was passed recently and similarly has commentators curious as to the legitimacy of taking a person’s DNA without a warrant and without their consent – click here to view the k?rero.

It is also important to point out that DNA samples taken have gone awary… In the UK for instance in 2008 millions of profiles from DNA database were passed to private firms without the owners knowledge or consent.

Papers obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in the UK show that on five occasions since 2004 private firms with police contracts have successfully applied to use the database to help them develop computer programs.

The DNA database contains records of 4.2 million people, of which a million have never been convicted of an offence. Records are rarely deleted, even if a person is not charged. Click here to read more.

Just be aware wh?nau, be aware.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Is there still the provision for parent's or a consenting adult to decline the process brother? If so, parents, adults decline!This ish has got to contravene UNROC yeah? Not so much?

  2. This happened to my son whose DNA is now on file although no crime was committed – he was too naive to say no, and now it’s too late. But there are 3 issues. Issue 1: If they don’t do a crime then no problem. If they do, I’d rather they get caught. Consider if a person hurt one of yours and the DNA provided much needed evidence. Issue 2: The … Read MorePrivacy commission needs to step in fast to prevent misuse of DNA such as sharing with insurance companies etc. The Health Information Privacy Code (HIPC) should cover it but it won’t have been tested against DNA data and samples. Issue 3: Targeting Maori – this issue is wider (but includes) the DNA one. The Maori party’s best argument is that Maori youth will resist, but it’s a weak argument. I doubt the cells will see any more resistance than normal. The issues we should focus on are Issue 2 – privacy, and continue to focus on issue 3 – targeting in the wider context.

  3. from researching around, the prob comes when young maori are taken to the station, tested and the results stored but they never go to court. instead the police put it on file, even tho the laws states they shoudn’t have. lots of examples overseas of this. also US police have given samples to private companies without permission. too often the police push the limits and take samples when they know they shouldn’t, all in the name of “if you don’t commit a crime, why be scared?”

  4. Someone needs to remind ol’ Billy-boy of the ‘nga taonga katoa’ buzz…once again *sigh*. Whenua maori…reo maori…now our toto?!? Oh hell nooo!

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