Opponents say PM breaking his promise on rules aimed at foreign fighters.

Urgent law changes being introduced to combat the threat of "foreign fighters" will be in place until 2018, prompting opponents to question the Government's promise they would be "short-term" measures.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday released the final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill, which would be tabled in the House tomorrow.

He expected it to be passed into law before the end of the year, though there would be time for some public consultation.

Mr Key denied there had been little consultation with other political parties about the bill.


He told TVNZ's Breakfast show today there had been a very "thorough and private" briefing with political parties that could support the bill, including the Labour Party.

"It's not only been a pretty thorough consultation, we actually gave pre-disclosure copies of the bill to a range of people who are interested in making submissions."

There was also a select committee process to go through, he said.

"What we're trying to do is put a short term band aid on a very serious issue."

It was "nonsense" that people should now fear being spied on in their homes without just cause, Mr Key said.

"If you have a look at what's happening here, for a start off, what we're doing is we're giving authorities the capacity to cancel a passport - not just for 12 months, but for three years.

"To get your passport cancelled is a very high threshold and is nothing to do with spying."

The surveillance aspect was only extending powers to the SIS, he said.


The law changes follow Mr Key's speech on national security this month in which he outlined a number of urgent counter-terrorism measures including passport cancellations and warrantless searches.

Mr Key said at the time the measures were designed for the short-term and would be subject to a sunset clause. The draft bill shows the legislation would expire on April 1, 2018.

Mr Key said this deadline reflected the length of time it would take to complete a more comprehensive review of New Zealand's security and intelligence legislation.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman described the law changes as draconian and anti-democratic.

He was particularly opposed to changes which made it possible to render a person stateless by cancelling their passport, and warrantless searches on houses by spies who were under ministerial control.

"It's a kind of extraordinary thing that you expect the Chinese Communist Party to do," he said.

Dr Norman said the expiry date for the changes belied Mr Key's reassurance the changes would be short-term.

National was seeking cross-party support for the changes, but Dr Norman said it was difficult to see how his party would support it. Labour remains undecided on the law changes.

Mr Key said there would be time for a shortened select committee process before the bill was passed.

The bill had been shared with all parties and also interested groups outside Parliament to allow them more time to consider it.