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IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies

A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“The Independent Police Conduct Authority found the Police decision not to prosecute the GCSB for its illegal actions was justified. The problem with this ruling is that there is still no accountability for these unlawful activities against New Zealanders. The fault for this lies with John Key who is the minister responsible.

“However, IPCA chair Sir David Carruthers stressed it was ‘not the role of the Authority to investigate the activities of the GCSB’ or to ‘determine the accuracy of the legal advice provided to the Police by the Solicitor-General’.

“This is symptomatic of wider concerns about our security and intelligence agencies.

“The law around spying on New Zealanders was unclear and the Kitteridge report found the GCSB potentially acted outside of its powers. Today’s report found the GCSB had an ‘incorrect understanding’ of the law.

“The GCSB’s powers have now been expanded after the Government last year passed controversial new legislation opposed by many New Zealanders.

“There is no proper governance from the Prime Minister who is in charge of our spy agencies. He has been asleep at the wheel while unlawful actions took place around him. On top of this, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee is toothless.

“It is unsurprising New Zealanders have little faith in our security and intelligence organisations. Labour has been calling for a full and independent review of our spy agencies for almost two years. This is the only way to restore public confidence,” Grant Robertson says.