National Assessments Bureau (NAB)

Te Ranga Tātari Take

DPMC logoThe National Assessments Bureau (NAB) provides independent and impartial assessments on events and developments relevant to New Zealand’s national security and international relations.  These assessments inform decision making.

NAB is part of the National Security Group within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and is made up of mostly of assessment analysts with regional or topic-based expertise.

The Director of NAB is accountable to the Deputy Chief Executive National Security Group, of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), for the Bureau’s day-to-day operations, but is directly accountable to the Prime Minister for the content and quality of its assessments. 

The current Director is Julian Grey.

NAB staff scrutinise, analyse, and provide context to information from a wide range of public, diplomatic, and intelligence sources. NAB does not collect intelligence.

New Zealand also receives intelligence from international sources and partners. NAB has a lead role to provide a perspective of what that intelligence means for New Zealand.

The Intelligence and Security Act 2017 sets out the role of NAB in legislation for the first time.

Since 1975, New Zealand has had a primary all-source intelligence assessments agency, then called the External Intelligence Bureau, now called the National Assessments Bureau.

NAB’s history dates back to 1949 when, under a different name and with different functions, it was part of New Zealand’s military:

  • 1949    Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO)
  • 1953    Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB)
  • 1975    External Intelligence Bureau (EIB)
  • 1988    External Assessments Bureau (EAB)
  • 2010    National Assessments Bureau (NAB)

Over time NAB has evolved into a fully civilian agency, and since 1990 has been part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The National Assessments Bureau sits within DPMC’s National Security Group. 

In March 2010, the External Assessments Bureau became the National Assessments Bureau reflecting its domestic and external mandate. In addition to its core assessment function, the National Assessments Bureau picked up its role of co-ordinating intelligence assessment and promoting standards of intelligence analysis across the New Zealand Government.