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New publication on NZ's secret agencies

1 May 2001 Media Statement

New publication on NZ's security and intelligence agencies


Prime Minister Helen Clark today launched a detailed publication on how the country’s security and intelligence agencies are managed.

Securing Our Nation's Safety has been published by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The 44-page publication explains the roles and responsibilities of the agencies, how they are managed and how they are kept accountable through the democratic process.

Helen Clark said that the government was keen to see information about the agencies more widely available.

"Information in the booklet has been brought together in the one publication as part of the government's wish to see the agencies as transparent as they can be given the circumstances in which they work.

"Clearly the information about how the agencies actually go about their work must stay secret, if they are to remain effective."

The booklet features a chapter from former Prime Minister and leading constitutional lawyer Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who discusses the need for security and intelligence agencies and the effectiveness of the legislation governing their activities.

"The reasons for having security and intelligence agencies to protect our country’s interests at home and abroad are overwhelming. Likewise, a robust legislative framework makes sure these agencies operate within the law and do not infringe the rights and privacy of law-abiding New Zealand citizens," Sir Geoffrey says.

Securing Our Nation’s Safety is being released today as a Bill is introduced into Parliament to provide a legislative base for the Government Communications Security Bureau.

The booklet is available at all public libraries. It has also been published on the department’s web-site (www.dpmc.govt.nz). Copies of the free publication can be obtained by writing to the department at P O Box 55, Wellington.

ENDS

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