The report is online here. It seems that the only information the Police asked of the GCSB was where he would be on a particular date and time, to minimise risks around his arrest. This is quite different from collecting information to be used in the prosecution around him.
The PM has said:
“At the time in question, Kim Dotcom was not a New Zealand citizen. He was, however, classed as the holder of a residence class visa, but it was not interpreted by the Police or GCSB at the time that he fell into the protected category of permanent resident.
“The GCSB relied on information provided to it by the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand. In my view, reliance on another party by GCSB is unacceptable.
“GCSB had a responsibility to fully understand what the change to the Immigration legislation in 2009 meant for its own operations, including whether individual visa holders were protected or not.
“It is the GCSB’s responsibility to act within the law, and it is hugely disappointing that in this case its actions fell outside the law. I am personally very disappointed that the agency failed to fully understand the workings of its own legislation.”
“I have received an apology from the Director of the GCSB and an assurance that he will take every step to rebuild public confidence in his organisation.”
As part of that process, Mr Key has sought an assurance that there are no other cases of people’s communications being intercepted unlawfully. The GCSB will be reviewing past cases back to 2009 when the Immigration Act was changed, and will report to the Prime Minister and the Inspector-General on this matter as soon as possible.
The GCSB will also:
- Establish new approval processes in the support of Police and other law enforcement agencies. This type of operation is halted meanwhile.
- Agree with Police and other law enforcement agencies how to confirm immigration status, before operations in support of law enforcement activity are undertaken within New Zealand.
The GCSB will submit these proposed changes to the Inspector-General in advance of their implementation.
So as I understood it they knew he was a resident, but did not think his type of residency was one which qualified him to be regarded as a permanent resident.