Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, in her role as Minister of National Security and Intelligence has today released the Government’s 2021 National Security Intelligence Priorities – Whakaarotau Marumaru Aotearoa.
“The safety, wellbeing and protection of New Zealanders and our nation’s sovereignty will always be paramount for the Government,” Ms Ardern said.
“The National Security Intelligence Priorities help us to identify threats, risks, and challenges to New Zealand’s security and wellbeing, while outlining current areas of interest where intelligence can support the Government to make informed decisions.
“These Priorities build on the previously released 2018 Priorities, and have been grouped into 13 overarching themes covering a range of threats and risks to New Zealand including; foreign interference and espionage, climate change and environmental issues, malicious cyber activity, terrorism and violent extremism.”
The release of the Priorities is part of a wider work programme to address the relevant findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Masjidain.
“The Government remains absolutely committed to implementing all recommendations made by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Masjidain, and are acting on the findings that there should be more informed public dialogue around our national security,” Ms Ardern said.
“The 2021 Priorities will make more information available to New Zealanders about our intelligence priorities than ever before, and enable a more informed public discussion on where our national security intelligence agencies focus their ongoing efforts.”
The Royal Commission made findings about the broadness of the previous Priorities and the need for them to support better system-wide coordination on national security and intelligence. The 2021 version of the Priorities provides a more detailed description of each priority, including key areas of focus and how they support our National Security Objectives.
“The Priorities are next due to be reviewed in 2023 and will be informed by public engagement on national security through a wide range of stakeholder engagement, including academics, Māori, youth, businesses, ethnic communities, faith-based communities, and other interest groups.”
“Understanding New Zealanders’ most pressing national security concerns is vital to inform us where the public would value intelligence to keep New Zealanders safe and secure.”