New Zealand agencies
with Australia, internal surveillance and external espionage
involves a range of New Zealand agencies - clandestine
and otherwise. This page highlights some of those agencies.
It covers -
New Zealand's smaller size relative to Australia - and
arguably its correspondingly smaller ambitions - means
that its intelligence machinery appears to be less complex.
As with Australia, the total cost and size of the national
intelligence machinery cannot be established.
The New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)
is ASIO's counterpart.
It was established by the New Zealand Security Intelligence
Service Act 1969, with strengthened surveillance powers
through a 1977 amendment to that legislation (subsequently
amended by the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002).
It traces its origins to the WWII era Security Intelligence
The 1999 report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence
& Security commented,
tongue in cheek or otherwise, that
fact that there are very few complaints and little need
for any inquiry into the activities of the New Zealand
Security Intelligence Service (or the Government Communications
Security Bureau) indicates, I believe, that the performance
of their activities does not impinge adversely on New
NZIS had a budget in 2002-03 of around NZ$16.5 million,
with around 140 staff. It has regional offices in Wellington,
Christchurch and Auckland. The organisation's Annual Report
indicates that Security Intelligence Advice accounted
for 65% of expenditure, Foreign Intelligence for 14% and
Protective Security Advice for 21%.
In 2002-03 some 14 domestic interception warrants were
Although insights are offered by The Ties that Bind
- Intelligence Cooperation between the UKUSA Countries
(London: Allen & Unwin 1985) by Desmond Ball & Jeffrey
Richelson is no comparable study for New Zealand's Government
Communications Security Bureau (GCSB),
subject of a 1998 review
by the NZ Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security
(IGIS). It operates under the NZ Intelligence &
Security Committee Act and the Inspector-General
of Intelligence & Security Act.
Some historical insights may be gleaned from Swift
& Sure: A History of the Royal New Zealand Corps of
Signals and Army Signaling in New Zealand. (Auckland:
New Zealand Signals 1996), an official history by Laurie
Barber & Cliff Lord.
assessment and coordination
New Zealand security intelligence assessment and coordination
bodies include the External Assessments Bureau (EAB)
and National Assessments Committee (NAC).
The Cabinet Strategy Subcommittee on Intelligence &
Security, chaired by the Prime Minister, considers issues
of oversight, organisation and priorities for the New
Zealand intelligence community.
An Intelligence & Security Committee established by
the Intelligence & Security Committee Act 1996
oversights the NZIS and GCSB. Its membership of five includes
the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Its formal
responsibilities include scrutiny of the "policy,
administration and expenditure" of the agencies and
receipt of the NZIS Annual Report.
The Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security (IGIS),
a position established by the Inspector-General of
Intelligence and Security Act 1996, provides what
is intended as complementary oversight. The Inspector-General
is required to be a person who has been a judge of the
The IGIS is to
into any matter that relates to agency compliance with
the law of New Zealand
into any matter where it appears that a New Zealand
'person' may have been adversely affected by an act,
omission, practice, policy, or procedure of the NZIS
the Minister's concurrence enquire into the propriety
of particular activities of the NZIS
the effectiveness and appropriateness of procedures
adopted by the NZIS to ensure compliance with provisions
relating to issue and execution of interception warrants.
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