Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Security Act review brought forward

The Government will bring forward an independent statutory review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 as a result of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain report.

“The report from the Royal Commission included four specific recommendations to strengthen New Zealand’s intelligence and security legislation, these being:

  1. Reviewing all legislation related to the counter-terrorism effort;
  2. Requiring publication of and public submissions on the National Security and Intelligence Priorities and an annual threatscape report;
  3. Strengthening the role of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee;
  4. Adding a reporting requirement for direct access agreements that allow an intelligence and security agency to directly access certain databases.

“The review was scheduled in law to start after September 2022. We will make a technical law change so that it will be able to start after 1 July 2021,” Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response, Andrew Little said today.

“The independent statutory review will consider current threats to national security and whether the legislation can be improved to ensure it continues to be clear and effective, as well as considering issues with the Act that were raised by the Royal Commission.

“Families of the shuhada and the wider public will have the opportunity to express their views on issues related to national security and the matters raised by the Royal Commission about the legislation. Any changes to the Act resulting from the review will have a full Select Committee process.”

The review will be conducted by two independent reviewers appointed by the Prime Minister. The Ministry of Justice will be responsible for supporting the review.

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