National Assessments Bureau (NAB)

Te Ranga Tātari Take

DPMC logoThe National Assessments Bureau (NAB) produces intelligence assessments on events and developments that bear on New Zealand’s interests to help inform government decision making. NAB is also responsible for promoting excellence in intelligence analysis across the New Zealand government.

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, 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 Director of NAB chairs the National Intelligence Coordination Committee. The Committee coordinates the effort of government agencies in meeting New Zealand’s intelligence priorities.

The current Director is Cecile Hillyer.

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.

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 DPMC. 

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