Item 1


New Part 12A. Photographic Images Not To Be Digitally Stored

LIANNE DALZIEL (NZ Labour): This new part is designed to prevent
the digital storage of photographs. I urge members to support it. I
am not ashamed to argue for civil liberties in Parliament despite
some of the disparaging remarks that have been made from the other
side. But I accept that there is always a question of balance, and
where that balance lies is always a question of personal judgment. I
accept that that will differ from person to person.

The balance in respect of photographs on drivers' licences and in
respect of their mandatory carriage has been debated and decided. I
simply disagree with the result. However, on this issue---digital
storage---the balance has not even been debated in Parliament over
the last 2 days. That is why I have created a new part---to give us
an opportunity in Parliament to say what we feel about this new
technology and what it will mean in practice.

In part, the reason we have not debated it is that it is not
included in the Bill, yet we are a long way down the track. We hear
that we are committed to it prior to the consent of Parliament being
gained. In March this year the Privacy Commissioner criticised the
Land Transport Safety Authority for a somewhat belated privacy impact
assessment. He said: ``The value of a privacy impact assessment is
severely diminished when all the key decisions seem to have been
taken or presented as foregone conclusions and most people will be
unaware of its existence.'' As far as process goes, it is
unacceptable that such important decisions are made without public

I make that point because a number of speeches in Parliament over
the last couple of days have identified public support for
photographs on drivers' licences. However, I do not believe that the
majority of New Zealanders have any idea of the Big Brother nature of
the technology that is being proposed. Most New Zealanders, on being
asked whether they agree with photographs on licences, will think of
all the examples that we have had brought before us---student cards,
passports, and so on. Let me make the point that with a passport, two
photographs signed as a true likeness are provided with the
application. One is attached to the passport and the other is kept on
file. The technology that Part 12A seeks to deny is digital
technology, which would create a central computer data base of
photographs of virtually every law-abiding citizen of this country.
With digitised technology, the issue is access to the digitised
likeness, which can be available from any number of computers or

I understand that at least three companies will be involved in
producing the licence, and there can be contracting out from the Land
Transport Safety Authority. What technical barriers will be put in
place to prevent access to this most personal of information? Perhaps
more important, I ask the Minister of Transport---because he is the
Minister for Information Technology as well---what technical barriers
can be put in place to prevent access to this most personal
information. We have just seen a hacker devastate the IHUG internet
provider, and threats have been made to XTRA here in New Zealand. I
have some serious doubts as to whether we can ever secure information
of this type that is held in a central data base. I take the issue of
privacy very seriously indeed, and I think this Minister does too,
but I am not sure that we have done sufficient in terms of addressing
the ability to access this information.

When we look at this Bill as a total package, we see it takes away
something really special about living in New Zealand---the fact that
we have been free to travel anywhere in this country without official
documentation. If we use a vehicle in the future, that right is gone.
We must carry official documentation with us at all times. I accept
that the Cullen amendment has addressed some concerns about the issue
of data sharing, but there is always the future to think of. We
cannot just think of the present. Would Muldoon have used this
technology differently?
**End of document reached**

Item 2

OTHER MEMBERS : Marian Hobbs; Harry Duynhoven; Lianne Dalziel;
Mark Burton;

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON (Minister of Transport): I want to put
some information on the record. The word ``digital'' seems to trip up
so many people. It seems to scare the living bejesus out of many
people these days, because somehow it is supposed to be evil. I have
heard people say that their blood type, their Inland Revenue
Department number, where they went to school, and all of that, can be
stored on these digital photographs. I want to tell members, so that
they are very clear in their own minds, that digital technology is
just the new technology. That is all it is. For example, the
photograph that appeared on the front of the Dominion this morning of
me holding the card was taken with a digital camera.

Marian Hobbs: My son has got one.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: Marian Hobbs says that her son has got
one. So there is nothing evil about digital technology. It only takes
ordinary photographs. We have a sample licence to show members. This
photograph of Jackie Chan is just a photograph. No matter what one
does with that photograph, one cannot get any more information about
Jackie Chan. We cannot find out what her mother did when she was at
school, we cannot find out her Inland Revenue Department number, and
so on.

What is the alternative to digital technology? The alternative is
analogue storage, and in the case of photographs that means physical,
hard-copy photographs on paper. If members understood the
administrative cost of trying to run a photographic system for
drivers' licences, they would realise that reissuing analogue
photographs if people lost them would be a nightmare. In fact,
retrieval would be nigh on impossible, and people probably would have
to be re-photographed and the licence redone.

Harry Duynhoven: What about scanning the photograph?

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: Scanning makes it digital, and we are not
allowed to do that! Harry Duynhoven does not know what scanning
means. To put anything through a scanner---

Lianne Dalziel: Read this amendment. It's only related to storage.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: The moment a photo is scanned, it is
stored. We cannot scan a picture and not have it stored. It is stored
on something. The scan does not just come into free air and sit there
somewhere, and one goes running around the room chasing it; the
moment one scans a photograph, it is stored. A photograph like this
one of Jackie Chan is only 0s and 1s. That is all it is.

Lianne Dalziel: We already know this!

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: Lianne Dalziel says that she knows that,
then she says that we are talking about storing photos. People cannot
scan a photograph and not store the output from the scan. It has to
be stored on something. It does not just go into a wire and fly
around the ether somewhere, and not be stored. When people scan a
photograph in their research unit to be put into a bulletin, it has
to be stored on a disk. That is what happens when it is scanned. All
this digital nonsense is just that; it is sheer nonsense.

More important, let me tell members about security. There are
very, very good computer security systems that are impregnable---for
example, the 128-byte encryption stuff. I bank through the ASB Bank
Internet. It is ranked by the United States Department of Defense,
with its 128-byte---

Mark Burton: Nothing is impregnable!

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: I am sorry to say that is not quite
right. The Government Communications Security Bureau and the United
States Central Intelligence Agency rank 128-byte encryption as still
currently impregnable.

Let me tell members the latest figure. If people use the fastest
processor that we currently have in the world---that is, the big,
blue-chip IBM machine---it would take them over 10 million years to
break the code of a 128-byte encryption. I am happy to run the risk
that someone using the biggest, fastest, and fanciest computer can
break the 128-byte encryption. That is why I bank on the Internet. I
am very happy to do that. My bank account is pretty personal to me
and pretty special. I would not bank on the Internet if I thought
that anyone could hack into it, play around with it, and see what is
in it. I feel absolutely certain that no one can do that.

I am going to ask officials to see whether we can rule out this
amendment because of the straight fiscal cost, because the number of
shoeboxes and the administration that would be required simply to
store the physical---

Lianne Dalziel: This will cost $20 million.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: Let me make it clear to that member that
this system will not cost anywhere near that amount of money. What
will cost a big chunk of money is the agencies where people go to do
their licensing, which would still be needed, and the computer system
for checking whether the licences are still valid---and we would
still need that. The actual storage of digital photos is a very small
element of the cost. But if we had to store the photos in shoeboxes
in the Christchurch Central electorate, or wherever the member is
currently from, they would take up half the electorate. The building
would be full.

Lianne Dalziel: That's ridiculous!

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: I am telling the member that the volume
of licences and reissued licences would fill the building.

This is ridiculous. I keep hearing people on the talkbacks saying:
``It's a digital picture!''. The comment that I thought was great was
one I heard on Leighton Smith's show the other day. Somebody said
that a person would be able to scan the audience at a concert with a
video camera, run it through the database, then be able to tell who
was at the concert. People could even scan one's card from a
distance. They will be able to go: ``Zap! That's Marian Hobbs.'', or
``That's Matt Robson.''! All I can say is that one cannot do that. I
say that all this emotive stuff about people being tracked by some
global-positioning system satellite as they walk around with their
drivers' licences---

Lianne Dalziel: Nobody's saying that.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: If the member is not worried about all of
that, then why have this stupid, stupid amendment to stop the
photographs from being stored digitally? Everything---all the new
newspapers, all the free-to-air television, as Marian Hobbs
knows---is about to switch from analogue to digital technology. The
next thing will be that Lianne Dalziel has a Part 12B forbidding
digital television because she does not want it. We will not want
digital banking! ASB Bank sites should get shut down; they do digital

Digital technology is where the world of the future lies. I know
that it does not sit comfortably with the Labour Party to think about
the world of the future, but that is where it is going. Our passport
photos are now digital. In every other jurisdiction, that is done.
All the new, machine-readable passports since last year have been
done digitally. No one has panicked about that. There is no extra
information when people go through passport control. No one says:
``We've got his digital photo. We can tell who his mother was.'' That
cannot be done. Digital photos just provide better quality. They are
less able to be damaged or destroyed. I just cannot believe that in
1998 we are not welcoming new technology taking over from the old
Brownie box cameras that the Labour Party would set up down at the
local licensing agency in order to store these photos on paper.
**End of document reached**

Item 3

OTHER MEMBERS : Hon. Wyatt Creech; Harry Duynhoven; Lianne Dalziel;
Third Reading

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON (Minister of Transport): I move, That the
Land Transport Bill be now read a third time. It is a very special
day for me as Minister of Transport. I am sure it is a special day
for all those members of this House who have as their prime objective
in life better road safety and better outcomes. I say to members of
this House that there could not have been a better programme screened
than the programme last night on Television One called Crash. I saw
some things in that programme that just again stirred the blood
cells. One of the interesting quotations last night was from Lyndon
Johnson, who was speaking as President of the United States in the
1960s, at some stage. He said: ``This Labour weekend we have had 19
GIs killed in Vietnam---one of the worst weekends we have had---and
we have had 260 Americans killed on the road, this weekend.''

Hon. Wyatt Creech: That's not a very good accent.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: Well, I like it. I am not like Jim
Bolger---I am not good at accents. But it really brought it home---19
soldiers were killed in Vietnam and 260 on the road. The objective of
this Bill, without doubt, is to lower the road toll even further by
getting the bad eggs off our road and/or, if necessary, taking their
vehicles from them.

We have made some good progress in reducing the road toll, owing
to a whole range of factors. It is down from around 800 people per
year, hopefully coming close to 500. We may not shave the 500 mark
but we will be only just over it. That is 300 people per annum now
who are alive each year who would not have been, even 10 years ago.
That is at a time when our road usage has been growing by about 4
percent per annum. If members multiply that over 10 years with its
compounding factor, they will see that we have about 50 percent more
volume of traffic on the road. But has the road toll gone up by a
corresponding amount? No, it has come down by a corresponding amount.

Road safety is a combination of a number of factors. It is
certainly about driver education and proper testing. It is about
vehicle safety and standards, road design, enforcement, and---more
important than anything else---public attitude. If we cannot fix the
nut behind the wheel we cannot do very much else in road transport
and road safety. I am delighted with the effect of the ghastly
advertisements we run. I hear members regularly saying that they see
those advertisements come on and they turn them off. That is good.
That is excellent. That means they know what the advertisement will
show them. It is already in their brain and it will make them feel
awful when they see it again. Hopefully, it will be in their brain as
they are driving along the road.

I want to cover three or four of the major things in this Bill. It
is a big Bill with a lot in it. I think under MMP no Bill of this
size will ever go through Parliament again. I think this Bill has a
lot of good merits. The first thing is the photo on the driver's
licence. Here it is, in case anyone wants to see this dreadful,
disgusting weapon that will take away people's privacy, security, and
other things. It is not. It is a common-sense move to have the
person's photo on a driver's licence. I have a message for the
talkback host in Auckland who says: ``If the Government gets away
with this legislation then I'm leaving.'' My message is in the form
of a question: ``Where will you go?''.

Harry Duynhoven: Afghanistan!

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: We have not yet checked that out---but we
will. We have checked every other developed, civilised nation that we
can name: Europe, right throughout; Scandinavia, right throughout;
North America, the lot; South America, the lot; Asia, right
throughout; and our friends across the Tasman, Australia, right
throughout. Where will Mr talkback host go? No other country does not
have a photo on a driver's licence, and we are the last to come into
line. I think that is sad. Secondly, it is a digital photo. They will
be able to track people when they leave home each morning. The
satellite will pick them up. We will have thousands of people---

Lianne Dalziel: Don't be pathetic.

Hon. MAURICE WILLIAMSON: I am not being pathetic. That is what was
being said on talkback radio. They will track people with GPS
satellites and they will scan people at concerts. The police will
know who is at that concert. What a lot of rubbish! A digital photo
is just the newest of the technologies. There is nothing more on a
photo when it is digital than when it is not. One can scan an
ordinary photo into a digital form, any time one likes, or vice
versa. No further information comes over when it is digitised. It is
just a new way of storing it.

Most of the press gallery photographers are now getting digital
cameras. Most members of this House, if they buy cameras for
Christmas and birthday presents, from this year on will be buying
digital cameras. In fact, the old analogue cameras that we have known
for so many years that Kodak have made their fortune out of, probably
will not exist within a decade. All cameras will be digital and all
photos will be digital. No secret information will be on the
photo---no tax number, no blood grouping---nothing will be on there.

We have also restricted access to this database. That was a
sensible move in the Committee. The database is heavily
encrypted---128 bit encryption---so it cannot be hacked into. It is
safer than banking systems. We have also restricted its access use
for land transport and traffic issues only. That is very, very good

One of the other provisions in the Bill is the mandatory carriage
of one's driver's licence. That will be a problem for me. I will have
to change my ways. I quite often do not carry my licence with me. But
I accept that is a small penalty to pay in order to start identifying
the bad eggs. I am happy to have to start to change my behaviour. I
will change my behaviour. I will start carrying my licence with me.
The senior whip says that he will look forward to my behaviour change
with great interest. I think that carrying my driver's licence with
me is important.

Again, I ask members of the House to tell me where else people do
not have to carry their drivers' licences. What we want to be able to
do is to identify the law-abiding citizens at the roadside and move
them on quickly, so that the person checking traffic can say:
``You're OK, and you're OK.'' We can then identify the law
breakers---the bad eggs, the disqualified drivers---and get them off
the road.

The next provision is one of the most important, and that is the
impoundment provision. The police will now have the ability to
impound vehicles in several circumstances, the most obvious being if
the driver of the vehicle is already a disqualified driver. Most of
us support that amendment. There was horrendous carnage and a
horrendous number of deaths on our roads last year---and the year
before and the year before that---caused by people driving while
disqualified. Around 15 percent of all fatal and serious injuries
last year were caused by people driving while disqualified---52 road
deaths were caused by drivers who were driving while disqualified.
That is outrageous and we need to stop it.

I am delighted that if drivers' blood levels are more than twice
the legal alcohol level of blood they can now have their vehicle
impounded. If any member in the House says that that is wrong, and
that someone should be able to drive with more than twice the legal
blood/alcohol level and not have the vehicle impounded, I want to
hear from that member. I want to hear that member get up in the House
and say: ``No, you should be able to drive on our roads with more
than twice the legal blood/alcohol level and get away with it.''

I refer very quickly to an issue we had with commercial companies
with regard to impoundment. The Road Transport Association, the Bus
and Coach Association, and, indeed, the Contractors Federation, were
concerned about a provision in the Bill that made sure that those
organisations did not allow any of their workers to drive their
vehicles if they were disqualified. Their concern, which was
legitimate, was the bureaucracy involved in organisations having to
keep checking all the time that the people who work for them have
valid drivers' licences. We have managed to overcome that concern.

Negotiations over the last couple of days between the New Zealand
Police, the Land Transport Safety Authority, and so on, have put in
place a whole new set of provisions that should solve those problems
well. It means that we will turn it round. The companies will
register their drivers and the Land Transport Safety Authority will
now notify the companies if ever those drivers are disqualified.
Rather than having to check each week, companies would be notified
only when needed. I am delighted with that. The police will also
streamline the appeals provisions to fix that up.

Finally, every significant road safety measure that has ever gone
through Parliament has faced massive opposition. I remember the issue
of random breath-testing, and that three successive transport
Ministers failed to get the legislation through Parliament, because
Parliament was opposed. What is really sad about that is to ask what
would happen if we were to try to do it the other way. What if we now
introduced a Bill that outlawed random stopping for breath testing?
How many members of this House would support that? Not one! I do not
reckon that one member of the House would stop the police from
carrying out random breath-testing.

This is a very good Bill and it is a very proud day for me as
Minister of Transport.
**End of document reached**

Item 4

OTHER MEMBERS : Hon. Maurice Williamson;

LIANNE DALZIEL (NZ Labour): I want to endorse the comments of Owen
Jennings and to congratulate him on an excellent contribution to the
third reading of the Land Transport Bill. It is my view that the
passage of this Bill represents a very sorry day indeed in the
history of this country. As I came down to the House to participate
in the debate I was reminded of the Janis Joplin song with the words:
``Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till
it's gone?''. I really believe that the people of this country have
no idea---

Hon. Maurice Williamson: It was Joni Mitchell.

LIANNE DALZIEL: OK, it was Joni Mitchell. I had the wrong person.
Let me just make the point that ``we don't know what we've got till
it's gone''. That is something that members opposite can laugh and
joke about as much as they like, but the general public of New
Zealand will not thank them for what this Bill does to this country.
What it does is to introduce a national ID system---a national
identification system---and removes our right as citizens of New
Zealand to travel around this country without official documentation.
The country in which I recall we saw the need for certain members of
that society to travel around with official documentation was South
Africa, with its pass laws, which we have only just seen change over
recent years.

The idea of photographs on licences sounds attractive, but the
public does not realise that there are two major fish-hooks with the
particular proposal that is before the House. The first of these is
the central database of photographs of every law-abiding citizen in
this country. I do not know whether members opposite realise, but
when somebody is charged with a criminal offence, and a digitised
photo is taken of that person's likeness and stored, once that person
is discharged and found not guilty of a crime, then the photograph is
destroyed. There is no record kept by the police of people found not
guilty of crimes. Here we are setting up a central database of
photographs of every law-abiding citizen in this country. This is a
dream for a central police State of the future.

The second point that the general public has no idea about at the
moment is the automatic $55 fine for all those law-abiding citizens
who happen to forget to carry their licences with them. They are
law-abiding citizens at the moment, but this law will turn them into
law breakers and subject them to a $55 fine for a simple error---a
simple mistake of forgetting to take their drivers' licences with
them in their cars.

I heard the Minister make comments during the Committee stage
about a comparison with seat belt legislation. Well, it is not the
same, because when I put on my seat belt I protect myself, and I also
protect the State from the additional health cost associated with
serious injury that may be incurred if I do not have my seat belt on.
What cost are we protecting ourselves or the State from, if we do not
carry our drivers' licences with us? The reality is that we have a
national ID card requirement to carry official documentation with us.

I heard a ridiculous speech from the Minister, where he said that
fears about a centralised database of photographs were unfounded, and
that the automatic fine was a small price to pay for the overall
objective. Those were his words. Now let me start with the latter
statement. Fifty-five dollars is not a small price to pay. It might
be so on a Minister's salary, and it might be so on an MP's salary,
but it certainly is not the case if one is on a benefit or the
minimum wage. Fifty-five dollars represents more than one-third of
the weekly income of a person on a benefit. It represents around
one-quarter of the take-home pay of someone on the minimum wage. That
is what $55 means to most ordinary New Zealanders, yet here it is
being imposed on us.

I know that during the Committee stage New Zealand First members
tried to reduce that to $20. But if they vote for this third reading
of the Bill, then they are voting for a $55 fine. What they did in
the Committee stage in effect becomes a meaningless gesture, and they
cannot stand behind the fact that they have done that if they support
the third reading of this Bill. A $55 fine for most New Zealanders
represents a significant proportion of their pay.

I made the point during the Committee stage that the target of
these fines would be those who were in particular racial groups, and
I do not want to see New Zealand divided down racial lines.
[Interruption] I say to the Minister that it already happens. We
know who the police stop, we know who they target, and I do not want
to see that happen in this country.

In respect of photographs on licences, I say that the Minister
scoffs at those who object to a central database being developed. I
have discovered since the Committee stage of this debate that some of
the states of Australia that the Minister referred to actually
destroy the digital images once the licences have been produced. They
do not keep a centralised database. They do not keep a record. So why
is New Zealand keeping a central database?

Hon. Maurice Williamson: Which one?

LIANNE DALZIEL: The Minister does not know. He has not even
checked out the facts. The Minister scoffs at the legitimate fears of
citizens. No one fears that digital technology will record additional
information, however, videos of protest will be able to be matched to
such a database. I accept that the law was tightened as we put it
through the Committee stage. But in terms of any emergency---and I
can think of those certainly within my own memory---that law can be
changed. There is no entrenchment of that legislation. I ask this
House to imagine what Sir Robert Muldoon would have done during the
Springbok tour protest with the technology that is available today.

In my view this legislation does not achieve the balance that one
would seek to achieve between civil rights and the wider public good.
If I felt that these measures would make an appreciable difference to
our road toll, then I would look at things differently. But I think
that the Minister has missed the boat. I think he has missed the
point completely. Along with every other member of this House, I am
concerned about road safety. In every single speech that I made in
the Committee stage I raised the key factors that I understand to be
represented in just about every road crash in this country. They are
the macho attitudes of young men who get behind the wheels of cars,
and speed---the inordinate speeds that are travelled on our roads,
not just in the cities but particularly in the countryside. The
combination of those two factors of speed and a macho attitude with
alcohol means we then have danger---we all know that the effect of
alcohol impairs judgment and the ability to make sensible decisions.
That is also combined with our having cars that crumple on impact.
That is something new---it was not so in my day. When I was a
teenager cars were built rock-solid. Now they crumple on contact.
Combine cars that crumple on contact with alcohol, speed, and a macho
attitude of young men, then add to that the almost unassailable
belief that these young people have in their immortality, and we have
a lethal combination.

I personally believe---and I want to support what Owen Jennings
said---that the way to address those issues is through education. We
should properly train young people how to drive well and how to take
responsibility for their actions on the road. That would do far more
to improve our road safety objectives and to make our country a more
secure place. We have given up legitimate rights and freedoms, and,
sadly, I do not believe that we will achieve the objectives that this
Bill states that it is there to achieve.
**End of document reached**

For further study see : Land Transport Bill 1998.