Restoring Public Trust and Confidence in New Zealand’s Intelligence and Security Agencies is a parliamentary commissioner for security the missing key?
Keywords:counterterrorism, intelligence and security, parliamentary oversight, royal commission of inquiry, intelligence sector reform
New Zealand’s two intelligence and security agencies play crucial roles in preserving our democracy and protecting the public from various harms associated with political violence. Scandals involving intelligence professionals likely diminish public trust and confidence in these agencies, which appears to be very low among some marginalised communities and minority groups. While official secrecy is required for sound strategic and operational reasons, it hampers meaningful articulation of the value proposition underpinning these agencies and their work. Reassuring the public is vital for the intelligence and security agencies, given their highly intrusive powers. Rather than more reviews of, increased transparency by, or stronger accountability over the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau, we suggest that a parliamentary commissioner for security is needed to help foster a level of public awareness and build the understanding required for trust and confidence to be restored in these agencies.
Permission: In the interest of promoting debate and wider dissemination, the IGPS encourages use of all or part of the articles appearing in PQ, where there is no element of commercial gain. Appropriate acknowledgement of both author and source should be made in all cases. The IGPS retains copyright. Please direct requests for permission to reprint articles from this publication to email@example.com.