Classified data behind cancelled passport

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A New Zealand citizen has had her passport cancelled on the basis of classified security information. Photo / File

By Amy Wiggins

The passport of a New Zealand citizen living in Australia has been cancelled by the Minister of Internal Affairs on the grounds of national security.

The woman, who lives in Melbourne, had her passport suspended in early May 2016 and cancelled shortly after.

Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne, relied on a section of the Passports Act to characterise the information used to justify the cancellation of her passport as classified security information.

That meant that when the woman's appeal was heard in court, neither she or her representatives were able to be present when the Minister presented the reasons for his decision to the judge.

A decision made by Judge J Dobson in the High Court, released today, ruled against her appeal.

Judge Dobson found that there were grounds for cancellation of a passport not just for someone who presented a danger to the security of New Zealand but to anyone who was believed to be a danger to the security of a country other than New Zealand.

"The outcome is that the definition of classified security information will extend to information affording grounds for a belief that cancellation of [the applicant's] passport will impede her ability to facilitate actions of the type specified ... namely where she represents a danger to the security of a country other than New Zealand for one or more of the specified reasons."

The woman now has until April 26 to lodge an appeal to the decision.

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