The Security and Intelligence Review

John Key has announced:

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security and John Key today welcomed the report of the Independent Review of Intelligence and Security.

“The report contains an extensive range of recommendations which aim to improve the clarity and consistency of the legislative framework governing the security and intelligence agencies,” says Mr Key.

“The central recommendation is that there should be a single, comprehensive Act covering both the agencies and their oversight regime.

“The Government must now carefully consider its response to these recommendations and it will do so with the intention of reaching as broad a political consensus as possible,” says Mr Key.

The Independent Review of Intelligence and Security report is available at:

We know the Greens will oppose basically everything. Their policy previously was to abolish one or both of the intelligence agencies.

NZ First’s stance depends on what mood Winston is in.

So the real focus will be on Labour, and their position. This is their former deputy leader and deputy PM who was one of the two reviewers. Will they listen to Cullen or listen to some vocal activists?

The central conclusion is:

There should be a single, integrated and comprehensive Act of Parliament that lays out in plain English how the [intelligence] agencies are constituted; what their purposes are; how all their intelligence and security activities are authorised; and how they are overseen so as to protect those freedoms and liberties that are part of what we are as a nation.

Other recommendations are:

  • Both agencies become departments under the State Sector Act
  • Recommend removing the current restriction on the taking any action for the purpose of intercepting New Zealanders’ private communications as the restriction is confusing, does not protect New Zealanders to the extent it suggests, and hinders the Agencies’ ability to assist the government to protect New Zealand against security threats. Instead, protections for New Zealanders should be implemented through a strengthened authorisation framework. If the Agencies wish to carry out any activity for the purpose of targeting a New Zealander, a warrant approved by both the Attorney-General and a judicial commissioner should be required.
  • The legislation should require some form of authorisation for all of the Agencies’ intelligence and security activities, to ensure that appropriate safeguards apply to everything they do, with a three tier approach
  • We recommend introducing a panel of at least three judicial commissioners, headed by a Chief Commissioner of Intelligence Warrants
  • The Inspector-General should be appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives.
  • The ISC to have up to seven members, and elect its own Chair who would normally not be the PM

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