Feedback sought on first review of law governing intelligence agencies

The five-year-old legislation governing New Zealand’s two intelligence and security agencies is being reviewed for the first time.

The independent statutory review by Sir Terence Arnold and Matanuku Mahuika is assessing whether the Intelligence and Security At 2017 is still clear, effective and fit for purpose.

The reviewers want to hear what the public think.

The Prime Minister appointed the reviewers, and the Ministry of Justice is providing support for the public engagement.

The Act sets out the objectives, functions and powers of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), and by law it must be reviewed regularly.

The two agencies have special powers to identify and monitor threats to New Zealand’s national and economic security.

Issues the reviewers are considering include whether the Act:

  • appropriately balances national, community and individual security with individual rights
  • enables the NZSIS and GCSB to identify security threats and
  • has enough protections and oversight to support public trust and confidence in the agencies’ work.

The review has been brought forward from after September 2022 so it can also consider relevant matters raised by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019.

The reviewers understand that people expect as much transparency as possible in discussing the work of the NZSIS and GCSB, and want to hear from a wide range of people, their views and experiences.

The public have till 30 September 2022 to have a say.

Go here for more information and how to contribute.

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