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OIA Response Received From NZSIS On PM & LOTO Briefing Notes

OIA Response Received From NZSIS On Briefing Notes & Report To Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff & Prime Minister John Key

Here below is the Official Information Act response from the New Zealand Secrity Intelligence Service Director Warren Tucker to Scoop Media over briefing notes relating to an investigation into the activities of Israeli citizens around February 22 2011.

*******

NEW ZEALAND SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

8 August 2011

Mr Selwyn Manning
XXXX

By email: selwyn@scoop.co.nz

Dear Mr Manning

Official Information Act Request

Thank you for your letter dated 29 July (received 1 August 2011) requesting all briefing notes, diary notes and correspondence relating to NZSIS briefings to the leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister regarding investigations into activities involving and surrounding the four Israeli tourists affected by the Christchurch February 22 earthquake, and the Israeli search and rescue team and the Israeli forensic team.

On 26 July 2011, I received a similar request from Cameron Slater of which you are no doubt aware. I am releasing to you the same documents that were released to Mr Slater. Your request differs from Mr Slater's in that you have also requested reports prepared for the Prime Minister. My staff have checked our records and I can confirm that the report that was used for the briefing of the Prime Minister is identical to that used for briefing the leader of the Opposition. This document (heavily redacted) is among those released to Mr Slater and now provided to you.

As I have explained to others, the NZSIS does not normally release information of this nature because disclosure may breach the confidentiality of advice tendered by officials. Disclosure would also usually be refused on the grounds that it would likely prejudice security. In this case, however, the existence and some of the content of the briefings has already been made public. Only those parts of the documents that would not compromise security are disclosed:

"Call on the leader of the Opposition", Monday 14 March 2011. This document has been redacted to withhold either irrelevant information or information that would be likely to prejudice security (section 6(a) Official Information Act 1982).

"Call on the Leader of the Opposition", 6 April 2011. This document has been redacted to withhold either irrelevant information or information that would be likely to prejudice security (section 6(a) Official Information Act 1982).

Report headed "Investigation into Israeli Nationals in Christchurch" with my handwritten note in the top right hand corner, "Read by/discussed with Mr Goff 14 Mar 11." The content of this five page report has been withheld. Disclosure of the content would reveal sources and methods used in the investigation and would be likely to prejudice security (section 6(a) Official Information Act 1982).

You have the right under Section 28 of the OIA to ask the Ombudsmen to review the withholding of this information.

Yours sincerely

Dr Warren Tucker Director of Security


  • Click here for the full document including redacted copies of the briefing notes and report: NZSIS OIA-1 Response (20110809) (pdf)
  • See Also: Official Information Act Letter (1) To SIS Director
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