Who we are

 NZSIS is a public service department that contributes to New Zealand’s safety and security.

Staff come from a wide cross-section of New Zealand society and perform a variety of roles. They include intelligence officers, analysts, linguists, technology experts and other specialists. NZSIS headquarters is in Wellington with regional offices in Auckland and Christchurch, and some staff based overseas.

Rebecca Kitteridge is the current Director-General of the NZSIS. She has held this position since May 2014. The Director-General reports directly to the Minister responsible for the NZSIS, the Hon Andrew Little.

What we do

The NZSIS contribute to:

  • The protection of New Zealand’s national security
  • The international relations an well-being of New Zealand
  • The economic well-being of New Zealand

The NZSIS do this by:

  • Collecting and analysing intelligence in accordance with the Government’s priorities
  • Providing protective security services, advice and assistance to the New Zealand Government and others
  • Assisting the GCSB, New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police to discharge their functions.

NZSIS undertakes a range of functions relevant to New Zealand's security.  These include:

  • Investigating and reporting on matters relevant to New Zealand's security
  • Giving advice on protective security measures
  • Conducting enquiries and making recommendations on whether individuals should be granted security clearances
  • Making recommendations relevant to security relating to immigration and citizenship matters
  • Collecting foreign intelligence

It is not a function of NZSIS to enforce measures for security.

NZSIS investigates and works to counter a range of threats to New Zealand's security.  These threats can originate both within and outside New Zealand, and include threats from:

  • Terrorism and violent extremism
  • Espionage
  • Foreign interference
  • Sabotage
  • Subversion

History

 NZSIS was established in 1956 as the New Zealand Security Service.  Until then, apart from a brief period during the Second World War, national security had been handled by the New Zealand Police.

In 1969, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act gave the now-NZSIS a legislative mandate to protect New Zealand from threats of espionage, sabotage and subversion.  In 1977, this definition of security was expanded to include protecting against acts of terrorism.

In 1996 and 1999, further amendments to the NZSIS Act extended NZSIS’s role to include:

  • Making recommendations relevant to security relating to immigration and citizenship matters
  • Conducting enquiries and making recommendations on whether individuals should be granted security clearances
  • Giving advice on protective measures relevant to security

In 2003 the definition of security was further amended to be consistent with the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002. In 2011 changes were made prior to the Rugby World Cup and in 2014 as part of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill.

In March 2016, Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy presented their findings from the First Independent Review of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand to Parliament.

On the 28 March 2017 the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 gained Royal Accent and on 29 September 2017 it came into force.

This bill implements the Government response to the Report of the First Independent Review of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand: Intelligence and Security in a Free Society, and replaces the four Acts that currently apply to the GCSB, the NZSIS, and their oversight mechanisms.