The Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill has passed at its third reading.

Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for GCSB John Key welcomed the passing of the legislation.

"Despite ill-informed claims to the contrary, nothing in this legislation allows for wholesale spying on New Zealanders. It actually tightens, not widens, the existing regime,'' Mr Key said.

Labour leader David Shearer said revelations by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about spying had created a global disquiet and that the GCSB bill had fuelled fear about the state's ability to pry. He said New Zealand had lost an opportunity to be a world leader on the issue.

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