In the past few years intelligence agencies have received more attention than ever before.
Within New Zealand, much of this attention has been focused on the extent to which there is a need for an intelligence capability. In order to govern a small nation in a very complex world, the New Zealand Government needs access to the widest range of information possible to make the best informed decisions possible. This range of information must include secret intelligence from various sources.
As well as being able to make well informed decisions, another key responsibility of the government is to protect the national interests of the country and its citizens, and, as far as possible, ensure the safety and effectiveness of NZDF military and peacekeeping operations. Secret foreign intelligence is a key factor in enabling the government to do this.
New Zealand's intelligence requirements are set out by the Foreign Intelligence Requirements Committee (FIRC). This committee is responsible to the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC), which is the senior intelligence policy advisor to the government.
The GCSB, as the national foreign intelligence agency, is a major contributor of foreign intelligence to the government. The GCSB contributes this type of intelligence through the collection, processing, analysis and distribution of foreign intelligence, according to the requirements set by the FIRC.
For further information on the management and coordination of New Zealand's intelligence and security agencies, please consult “Securing Our Nation's Safety”, a booklet produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on the roles and functions of New Zealand's Intelligence Community.