CIA database online

The CIA has just put a large database of documents online.

Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room

This includes things like the declassified President’s Daily Briefs (PDBs) from the Nixon and Ford presidential administrations.

It also has documents related to New Zealand. David Fisher has done some searching.

NZH: Inside the top secret CIA files on New Zealand – who they spied on and what they said

…reveals internal Central Intelligence Agency reports which detail the inner workings of New Zealand political parties, briefings on our Prime Ministers and the times we have upset the most powerful nation in the world.

Among the 13 million pages of records are almost 4000 CIA documents which reference New Zealand, dating from as early as a 1948 report on US claims to islands in the Pacific.

The bulk of the CIA’s previously top-secret reports come from the 1970s and 1980s with a strong focus on New Zealand’s move towards becoming nuclear-free.

The most recent report discovered by the Herald is from 1988, when the CIA wrote of its perceived increase in “racial tension” as a result of Waitangi Tribunal findings.

On New Zealand’s nuclear stance:

The CIA’s belief former Prime Minister David Lange accidentally backed himself into a corner on the nuclear-free issue, and US concerns the policy could spread throughout the Pacific.

While it stated that “Lange has privately assured US officials that he is personally satisfied that nuclear propulsion is safe” and it was weapons over which he held concerns, the CIA stated that Labour’s policy appeared to cover both.

A report after Lange became Prime Minister blamed “his penchant for speaking off the cuff in press interviews” which had “inched him into a trap from which he could not extricate himself”. The CIA believe that sank Lange’s expectation the US would be forced to compromise on his terms.

The revelation that New Zealand’s nuclear free stance – for which we were punished for decades – didn’t make any difference to the US from a military perspective.

This isn’t surprising, the nuclear issue was mostly political posturing from both New Zealand and the US, although it was important for New Zealand as being prepared to hold our ground against the attempted coercion of a super power.

On Muldoon:

A detailed biography of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon and detailed accounting of his pro-US sympathies, including that Muldoon saw himself as a world leader in financial leadership despite “limited achievements” at home.


In a 1978 report, Muldoon was described as “second to none in his high regard for the US” who believed “more than his predecessors” that NZ needed the US for security. However, with “characteristic bluntness” Muldoon had told the US that he felt it did not do enough to balance out NZ’s contribution to the Anzus relationship.

McCarthy and communism:

A McCarthy-era report into communism in New Zealand – a concern which was present throughout the documents into the late 1980s.

Pervasive through the reports was the CIAs fear that Soviet Russia would take advantage of the situation, with reports detailing suspected communist activity across the Pacific and inside the Labour Party.

Ken Douglas – mentioned in the CIA reports – was in trade union leadership at the time and said he was not surprised to be mentioned. “That was just a reaction to the Cold War hysteria that was around at the time.”

More in Muldoon sought Reagan’s help in NZ election.

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  1. Pickled Possum

     /  19th January 2017

    What was written about Muldon when he ‘saw’ himself as a World financial leader.
    that he had “limited achievements” ;

    This can be said for a great many of our past and future NZ Governments.
    Money and lots of it being the prime motivator these days.
    With the money people manipulating where/how and why, that money is spent
    With large groups of like minded people, making lots of money,
    Without thought of the people who are giving their physical selves
    Working for the bare min wage.
    And to be thankful they have this job.
    Which they mostly are.
    Thankful they now have a purpose to get up in the morning.
    While their brothers and sisters who have ‘failed’ in the ‘Real World’
    to catch that academic train and Never left the station,
    And to be thankful they were even at the station.
    That’s ‘limited achievements’ to me.
    Leaders lead people to achieve butt when money is the achievement
    Failure to achieve, is achieved
    and is rampant across society today.
    Interestingly Muldon was described as being smitten with America, acknowledging Americas top world policeman status. Greaza!

  2. Gezza

     /  19th January 2017

    Morena sis. Greaza took me a coupla secs to figure out.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th January 2017

    Got to go and see what’s in the possum trap this morning. Think it might have done its dash there and need moving. Horrible day doing accounts yesterday. More of same plus changeover next door today. No rest for the virtuous.

    • Gezza

       /  19th January 2017

      Got a phone call from anxious neighbours down at ma’s lifestyle village at 9pm last nite. They hadn’t seen her return from her visit to dad at the rest home, there were no lights on like usual, the phone wasn’t being answered, knocks on the door also failed to rouse her.
      She’s 90 next month, & although she had rung me on return from dad’s, he’d been really miserable there today & she was feeling really guilty about putting him into the home.

      The rest home also rang me as the neighbours had phoned the. All I got was the ansaphone, so ripped her up to 52 kph getting down to her place, let myself in, & she was in bed watching some rubbish or other on the teev with the sound up really loud – I keep telling her she’s bloody deaf – but she just denies it. Ma kissed & hugged, neighbours reassured, came back home. All good.

    • I might post my long ‘socially eco-nomic critique’ of that gas-fired self-resetting possum trap sometime Alan. The trap doesn’t score very highly. Not good at all. Expensive + consumerables.

      You’ve bought into it though and that’s the important thing …

      If we achieve this government’s ‘feel good’ distraction goal of ‘Predator Free’ it will be at the expense of predating ourselves instead … Just as achievement of the Flag distraction would have cost us our identity …

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th January 2017

        It’s stopped the possum crap all around the cabins, PZ, and I didn’t have to clean up anything other than a couple of blood spots so its working for me. I think it knocked off all three possums that we had seen there at night within about three days too so pretty quick and efficient.

        However I don’t like the way they claim you have to waste a gas cartridge to move it. I’ll be doing a mod to the mount to get around that bit of nonsense. It is a bit expensive but not unduly for what it is.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  19th January 2017

      Hey Al A kill of 3 crapping Ozzie import pests is pretty darn good in my book by any process.
      They get real smart when you are trying to lure them into a trap, and becomes a battle of wits.
      I prefer to create a border around the perimeter of fruit trees and vegy plants with the smell of possum male genitalia made into a watery bio-dynamic potion, it makes a sure fired NO GO area for future plum and apple munchers.
      Any way whats this all got to do with CIA and their nosy ways.
      Is nothing secret any more and How many so called pillars of society are already shaking in their boots … I’ll bet a whew.
      It is going to make the most eye watering reading when they get to year 2008- 2017.
      The rain is falling into the tank … ready for another HOT spell.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th January 2017

        Hope you got more than us, Possum. Barely wet the bottom of the rain gauge here.

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