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Green MP's SIS File A Weighty One

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sue Bradford
Sue Bradford

Wellington, June 23 NZPA - Green Party MP Sue Bradford isn't losing sleep over her hefty SIS file, but says it's a patchy record of her activist days.

Ms Bradford requested the return of her file after fellow party member Keith Locke did the same and made parts of it public in February, revealing he was monitored from the age of 11 because of family ties.

Ms Bradford's file is mainly based on her unemployed rights activist days of the 1980s and 1990s.

It outlines her association with the Communist Party of New Zealand, Socialist Action League and Workers' Communist League -- all deemed at the time by the SIS to be subversive organisations.

It includes a lengthy pile of media stories, documenting various protests she was involved in, along with arrests and stormings of high-level meetings.

Although hundreds of pages long and containing information dating back to 1968 when she was a sixth former, the file was an abbreviated one, Mrs Bradford said.

More than 300 documents could not be seen in full for security reasons.

Some of the information surprised her.

"There is a lot missing, it is very random ... and there are weird things such as them saying I went on a trip in the 1970s to China -- but I didn't," she told NZPA.

"I guess it gives me a bit of an insight into the limited efficacy of their spying activities.

"But also it's quite revealing that there were covert people in some of the organisations I was associated with."

The file was supposedly stopped early in 1999 when she entered Parliament -- in line with rules about spying on MPs -- but she was suspicious about whether that had in fact happened.

She said it would be strange if her involvement in demonstrations at an Apec meeting in Auckland in late 1999 were not noted.

Ms Bradford admitted she had an impressive list of trouble-making, and while there was plenty of information she couldn't obtain, what she had was intriguing.

"It helps remind me of some things in my life, because some I had completely forgotten about."

A similar file obtained by another Green Party member, Catherine Delahunty, is a lot lighter but covers activities dating back to when she was a student activist at high school in the late 1960s.

A cover letter with the file says she was never regarded as a security concern and that the file was created in the context of an entirely different period than today.

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