Government will consider recommendations of Intelligence and Security Act review

Prime Minister National Security and Intelligence

The Government has received the first independent review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins says.

The review, considered by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives today. 

“Ensuring the safety and security of New Zealanders is of the utmost importance in an ever-changing global security environment,” Chris Hipkins said.

“New Zealand and its sovereignty is not immune to security threats. Since 2017 we have experienced two terror attacks, seen the rise of foreign interference, disinformation, and cyber security threats both domestically and overseas

“It’s important we regularly check the tools we have available, and accompanying checks and balances, are appropriate to keep New Zealanders safe. 

“We brought forward the review to respond to the issues raised in the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain that relate to the Act.

“The Government will now fully consider the report and await advice assessing the potential impact of the proposals, before taking decisions on the recommendations.

“While responding to the review will take time, we are committed to doing so in a timely way to ensure the Act remains clear, effective, and fit for purpose.

“I would like to thank Hon Sir Terence Arnold and Matanuku Mahuika, and special advisor Dr Penelope Ridings, for their extensive work on this review,” Chris Hipkins said. 

A review of the Act is required by law every five to seven years. The review was brought forward to March 2022 so it could consider recommendations made by the Royal Commission Report relating to the Act.

The response to the report will be jointly led by the Prime Minister and Minister Responsible for the GCSB and NZSIS, Hon Andrew Little.

It is the Government’s intention to consult with the other parties in Parliament before finalising a response to the review.