On the surface, it’s been a good year for New Zealand’s state surveillance agencies. Compared to previous years they’ve garnered less negative media coverage and political examination. Yet appearances can be deceiving, and looking back over the year, there are plenty of reasons to suggest the spies deserve much greater scrutiny and questioning. Likewise, the politicians responsible for them don’t come out of the year very well.
The Latest criticisms of the SIS
Perhaps the brightest note in the spy sector this year has been intelligence watchdog Cheryl Gwyn. As Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, she has just released her annual report. And the good news is that it applies some serious heat to the NZ Security Intelligence Service (SIS), indicating that Gwyn and her revamped office is playing a robust role in overseeing the spies.