Inspector-General dismisses complaints over Groser intelligence

The IGIS has reported:

The , Cheryl Gwyn, released the public report of her inquiry into the Government Communications Security Bureau’s () processes for determining its foreign intelligence activity today. This inquiry was initiated as a result of issues raised by the public about claims of GCSB assistance to the New Zealand Government’s campaign to advance the Hon as a candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. “I have reached that finding for two reasons.

First, the New Zealand government had made a foreign policy decision to support Mr Groser as a candidate. The decision reflected a considered assessment that Mr Groser would, if selected, advance the effective functioning of the WTO (an international, multilateral organisation) and so have a significant impact on New Zealand’s economic well-being.

Second, under the terms of the Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 which applied at the time, the GCSB had a statutory responsibility to provide foreign intelligence assistance in support of New Zealand’s foreign policy objectives. In line with the government’s decision and the foreign policy basis for that decision, the GCSB acted lawfully and appropriately in providing its assistance to the campaign.”

The full report is very detailed, and usefully suggests ways in which future decision making can be done, but it very clearly finds that the GCSB acted appropriately.

And the IGIS has not been shy in the past in pointing out areas where she feels the SIS and GCSB are not acting appropriately.

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