Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater

OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY

MEDIA RELEASE
25 November 2014, 10:00am

Inspector-General publishes report on inquiry into release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, published her report on the inquiry into the release of NZSIS information to Mr Cameron Slater at a press conference in Wellington today.

The inquiry considered whether:

• the NZSIS acted properly and within the law when it considered and responded to an Official Information Act request from Cameron Slater in July and August 2011;
• the documents released to Mr Slater were properly declassified;
• other requests for similar information were treated in a manner consistent with Mr Slater’s request; and
• there was any evidence the NZSIS acted in a manner inconsistent with its obligations of political neutrality.
The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office.

“These errors resulted in misplaced criticism of the then Leader of the Opposition, Hon Phil Goff MP. Mr Goff is owed a formal apology by the Service,” said Ms Gwyn.

Ms Gwyn found no evidence of political partisanship by the NZSIS but did find that the NZSIS failed to take adequate steps to maintain political neutrality.

“Having released inaccurate information that was predictably misinterpreted, the then Director of the Service had a responsibility to take positive steps to correct the interpretation. He failed to do so,” said Ms Gwyn.

Ms Gwyn said she had also investigated allegations, made before and during the course of the inquiry, that NZSIS officers had acted in collusion with Mr Slater or under direction from the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister’s Office. Ms Gwyn said that these allegations were particularly serious and that she had made full use of her statutory powers to investigate them.

“From that thorough investigation, I do not believe that any NZSIS staff member contacted Mr Slater to instigate his OIA request. Nor have I found any collusion or direction between the NZSIS and the Prime Minister or his Office.”

Ms Gwyn went to on comment that she had, however, established that a staff member of the Prime Minister’s office had provided unclassified NZSIS information to Mr Slater. However, that information was understood by the Prime Minister’s Office to have been provided for media purposes and there was no breach of confidence towards NZSIS in that disclosure.

“That disclosure did not breach any confidentiality or security obligations owed by those staff to the NZSIS. No classified information was disclosed to Mr Slater.” Said Ms Gwyn.

Ms Gwyn commented that the OIA and the obligations of political neutrality and of consultation with the Leader of the Opposition are critical safeguards for public confidence in the NZSIS.

Ms Gwyn has made a number of recommendations around OIA processes and systemic changes to manage NZSIS interactions with Ministerial Offices. The Director of the NZSIS, Rebecca Kitteridge, has accepted all of the Inspector-General’s recommendations.

“The NZSIS undertakes important work, vital for New Zealand’s security. It has talented and dedicated staff. But those staff, and the work they do, depend upon public trust and confidence. I hope that through the publication of this report and its recommendations, public trust and confidence can be better sustained.” Ms Gwyn said.

Ms Gwyn said she wanted to acknowledge the high level of cooperation and support provided to the inquiry and acknowledged, in particular, that the former Director, Dr Tucker, had accepted many of the shortcomings identified and had taken personal responsibility for the actions of the NZSIS under his leadership.

She said she was pleased that she was able to release her report to the public in full without redactions.

“I hope the public can see from the detail of the report that the inquiry was comprehensive and rigorous.

The report demonstrated the significant powers granted to the Inspector-General.

“While some of the investigative steps I took were intrusive, they were necessary to ensure a rigorous and thorough investigation. It is vital the public has trust and confidence in the oversight of their intelligence agencies, ” said Ms Gwyn.

ENDS

Notes:
- The Inspector-General is not available for interview or further comment.
- A copy of the report will be available at www.igis.govt.nz/announcements.
[direct link to report | Scoop copy]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Who Decides On The Priority List For Vaccines

During the past week, the nation has gone through a range of mixed feelings about south Auckland. Understandably, there’s been a hankering in some quarters to punish a few of the rule breakers who plunged all of Auckland back into lockdown…Yet alongside that impulse there also been compassion for the way that poverty and overcrowding make south Aucklanders extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus... More>>


 




Government: PHARMAC Review Announced

The Government is following through on an election promise to conduct an independent review into PHARMAC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Main Benefits To Increase In Line With Wages

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels