Rt Hon John Key
6 October 2014 Media Statement
National Security and Intelligence role created
Prime Minister John Key today announced the creation of a new role of Minister for National Security and Intelligence as
part of wider changes to the way the security and intelligence area is governed.
“The security and intelligence sector has been undergoing significant change at agency and operational level,” Mr Key
“It makes sense for us to also take a fresh look at how the governance of the sector is structured.
“The Ministerial changes I am announcing today will make our structure very similar to that seen in Australia and Great
Britain, and further strengthen the governance of what is an absolutely crucial sector for New Zealand.
“As Prime Minister I will take on the new role of Minister for National Security and Intelligence. In this role I will
be responsible for leading the national security system – including policy settings and the legislative framework,” Mr
The roles of Minister Responsible for the GCSB and Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service will be
filled by Christopher Finlayson, who is also Attorney-General in the new Cabinet.
“The arrangements mean I will lead the national security sector and set the overall framework it operates within,” Mr
“I will continue to have regular briefings from the sector’s Chief Executives about the security environment and
developments both domestically and internationally.
“The Responsible Minister will operate within the framework I set and exercise ministerial oversight of the NZSIS and
GCSB, including approval of warrants.
“Officials have examined models used overseas and what we are adopting is very similar to what is seen with our closest
“Amy Adams will be appointed as Acting Attorney-General to exercise statutory functions where there is a specific role
for the Attorney-General under New Zealand’s security and intelligence legislation.
“For example, Ms Adams will have responsibility for appointing reviewers to conduct the periodic review of the
intelligence agencies, the legislation governing them and their oversight legislation,” Mr Key says.
The Ministerial changes are part of an ongoing programme of change within the sector, including the strengthened
oversight of the agencies and the restructuring of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s intelligence
“In addition to this it is my intention to create a new National Security Committee of Cabinet, which I will chair as
Prime Minister, and with oversight of the intelligence and security sector,” Mr Key says.
The committee is likely to be made up of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for the
intelligence agencies, the Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers and Amy Adams. Other Ministers would be invited to
attend as appropriate.
“Our national security system is well-placed to deal with events and threats in the ever-changing environment we see,”
Mr Key says.
“The changes I’m announcing today will further strengthen our structure and ensure we have a clear and practical set-up
into the future.”
Attached: Outline of security portfolio responsibilities