Cullen and Reddy to lead GCSB/SIS review

A requirement of the intelligence and security legislation passed in 2013 was that reviews must be done every 5-7 years, and the first of these reviews is due to start this year. It has just been announced that Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir Michael Cullen will lead the review.

Cullen is ex Deputy Prime Minister and has served as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Reddy is a barrister and solicitor with over 20 years of corporate governance experience.

Intelligence and security agencies review – Terms of reference

The purpose of the review, taking into account that subsequent reviews must occur every 5 – 7 years, is to determine:

  1. whether the legislative frameworks of the intelligence and security agencies (GCSB and NZSIS) are well placed to protect New Zealand’s current and future national security, while protecting individual rights;
  2. whether the current oversight arrangements provide sufficient safeguards at an operational, judicial and political level to ensure the GCSB and NZSIS act lawfully and maintain public confidence.

The review will have particular regard to the following matters:

  1. whether the legislative provisions arising from the Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighters legislation, which expire on 31 March 2017, should be extended or modified;
  2. whether the definition of “private communication” in the legislation governing the GCSB is satisfactory;
  3. any additional matters that arise during the review as agreed by the Acting Attorney General and notified in writing in the NZ Gazette.

When determining how to conduct the review, the reviewers will take into account:

  1. the need to ensure that a wide range of members of the public have the opportunity to express their views on issues relating to the review;
  2. the need for the law to provide clear and easily understandable parameters of operation;
  3. the Law Commission’s work on whether current court processes are sufficient for dealing with classified and security sensitive information;
  4. previous relevant reviews and progress towards implementing their recommendations;
  5. relevant overseas reviews to identify best practice in areas relevant to this review, including oversight arrangements;
  6. that traditionally, signals and human intelligence have been carried out separately and the Government does not intend to consider merging those functions within a single agency.

Media release on the appointment of Reddy and Cullen:

A respected Wellington lawyer and a former Deputy Prime Minister are to lead the first regular review of New Zealand’s security and intelligence agencies.

Acting Attorney-General Amy Adams announced today that she intends to appoint Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir Michael Cullen to carry out the review.

“This will be an important and challenging review, and I’m pleased Sir Michael and Dame Patsy have agreed to lend their expertise to the task. They bring complementary skills and experience to the role. Sir Michael is a former member of the Intelligence and Security Committee and has knowledge of national security issues. Dame Patsy has extensive governance experience and legal expertise,” Ms Adams says.

“The GCSB and SIS have a crucial role in protecting New Zealand’s interests and it is vital that New Zealanders have assurances that they have a clear and appropriate legal framework to operate within.

“Regular reviews help ensure the law keeps up with changing risks to national security, while protecting individual rights and maintaining public confidence in the agencies.”

Ms Adams says she has asked the reviewers to ensure members of the public have the opportunity to express their views.

“It’s important that members of the public have a clear understanding of the functions of our intelligence and security agencies, and the oversight and safeguards that apply to their work.”

The review will look at the legislative framework governing the agencies and consider whether they are well placed to protect New Zealand’s current and future national security, while protecting individual rights. It will also determine if the current oversight arrangements provide sufficient safeguards to ensure the GCSB and NZSIS act lawfully and maintain public confidence.

While other reviews have examined aspects of New Zealand’s national security system, such as the 2013 PIF Review, the 2012 Kitteridge review and the 2009 Murdoch review, this will be the first review to look at the broader legislative framework and oversight of the agencies.

The first review will begin in June 2015 and be completed by the end of February 2016. The reviewers will carry out the review independently and report directly to Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. Future reviews will occur every 5 to 7 years.

The terms of reference for the review can be found at: http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/i/intelligence-and-security-agencies-review

Biographies of the reviewers

Hon Sir Michael John Cullen KNZM (MA, PhD)
Sir Michael is a former New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister. While in government he held several ministerial portfolios including Minister of Finance, Attorney-General, Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Deputy Prime Minister. He is also a former member of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Since retiring from Parliament in 2009, Sir Michael has served as Deputy Chair and Chair of theNew Zealand Post Board. He was appointed to the Constitutional Advisory Panel in 2011, overseen by Hon Bill English and Hon Dr Pita Sharples. He is also currently the co-chief negotiator for Ngati Tuwharetoa and advisor for a number of other Iwi.

Dame Patricia (Patsy) Lee Reddy DNZM (LLM)
Dame Patsy is a barrister and solicitor with over 20 years of corporate governance experience as a non-executive director of Telecom New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Sky City Entertainment Group, New Zealand Post and Southern Petroleum New Zealand.

She is currently Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission, Deputy Chair of New Zealand Transport Agency, Independent Director of Payments NZ Ltd and Active Equity Holdings Ltd, and Chief Crown Negotiator for Treaty Settlements in the Bay of Plenty region. She was lead reviewer for several Performance Improvement Framework reviews of government agencies. She also has significant experience in the arts and not-for-profit sectors.

Dame Patsy has previously been a member of the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal and a partner in law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts. She has also lectured in the Faculty of Law at Victoria University of Wellington.

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  1. Reactions to spy reviews | Your NZ

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