Lost notebook reveals plans for New Zealand spy agency reshuffle
September 9, 2009 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Plans for a possible radical reshuffling of New Zealand’s intelligence infrastructure were revealed yesterday, with the discovery of a notebook belonging to a government official. The notebook was dropped on a busy Wellington street by an employee of New Zealand’s Treasury Department, who was returning from a classified presentation on the future of the country’s intelligence agencies. It was recovered by Julian Robins, a political correspondent for Radio New Zealand, who proceeded to reveal the notebook’s contents. According to Robins, the government appears to be seriously considering merging the three separate intelligence agencies, which currently operate on different missions, in order to improve synergy and save money. The agencies in question are the Secret Intelligence Service (NZSIS), which covers domestic security, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), tasked with global communications interception and communications security, and the External Assessments Bureau (EAB), which is concerned with producing intelligence analysis and forecasting of world developments. Speaking on the revelation of the government’s plans, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who is responsible for overseeing the work of all three agencies, said the government is “a long way away from seriously contemplating a merger”. Commenting on the subject, New Zealand surveillance and intelligence expert, Nicky Hager, author of Secret Power: New Zealand’s Role in the International Spy Network, said he doubted that the merger plans will ever materialize. The three intelligence agencies are “too closely tied to offshore allies to merge”, said Hager, making an obvious reference to the UK-USA Security Agreement (reportedly also known as AUSCANZUKUS), a peculiar intelligence-sharing arrangement between the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, which has existed since World War II.