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Security review underway after Defence HQ break-in

Security review already underway after break-in at Defence Headquarters

Minister of Defence Mark Burton confirmed today that while there was no evidence to suggest that the security of any sensitive material had been breached in Saturday's break-in at Defence House, a complete security review is already underway.

"Security within the building is of a high standard, but the fact is that a breach has occurred. Anytime security is compromised, it is essential that all possible avenues for improvement be thoroughly investigated.

"In a briefing with senior defence staff this morning, I have made it clear that I expect to be fully informed at every phase of the security review."

"I also expect any practical recommendations made to increase the level of security within New Zealand's Defence Forces will be implemented swiftly and efficiently."

Defence Force security staff at the Stout St premises were alerted to an unauthorised presence in the building early Saturday morning. Further investigations revealed a broken window in the fourth-floor office of Major General Jerry Mateparae, Army Chief of General Staff. A number of desks on the fourth floor had also been rifled through.

"I have no reason to believe that the security of any sensitive information contained on the floor has been compromised," Mark Burton said.

"All staff at Defence Headquarters operate under a strict "clean desk" policy.

"This means that all sensitive materials must be must be signed out at the beginning of each day and signed back in at the end of the day. These materials are then stored in secure containers. None of these containers have been accessed."

An examination of the premises was conducted by Scene of Crime Officers and Military Police early Saturday morning, and investigations are continuing. Currently, interviews are being conducted with all fourth-floor staff to gain a complete list of any possible missing items.

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