Review of the Intelligence and Security Act 2017

Closed 30 Sep 2022

Opened 1 Aug 2022


Independent reviewers are reviewing the Intelligence and Security Act 2017 (the Act).  The Prime Minister has appointed Sir Terence Arnold KNZM and Matanuku Mahuika to undertake the review. She has also appointed Dr Penelope Ridings as special advisor to support the review. They are keen to hear any views you may have about the Act.

The purpose of the Act is to protect New Zealand as a free, open and democratic society. One way it does this is by establishing clear objectives, functions and powers for the intelligence and security agencies: the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

The Act is an important tool for keeping New Zealanders safe. It provides the intelligence and security agencies with intrusive powers, including powers to collect and analyse information about people living overseas and in New Zealand by intercepting their communications. This has implications for people’s rights and freedoms, including privacy, but the impact should be no more than what is reasonably necessary to protect national security.

Section 235 of the Act requires that the Act be reviewed periodically. This is the first review of the Act and reviewers are considering whether any improvements can be made to ensure the Act is clear, effective and fit for purpose. 

The reviewers want to meet communities’ expectations of transparency as far as possible and want to give a wide range of members of the public the opportunity to express their views on issues relating to the review.

Links to background materials for the review are provided below, including:

  • Short explanatory video
  • Terms of Reference for the review
  • The Reviewers and Special Advisor
  • Intelligence and Security Act 2017

Please note that you can skip sections if you do not have any comments to make on a particular topic.

Why your views matter

It is really important that the public and interested organisations have an opportunity to take part in the review and help us report on how to improve the Act.

Please contact us if you would prefer to give your feedback by email -

Or in writing - 

Review of the Intelligence and Security Act

Ministry of Justice


  • General public


  • Intelligence and Security Agencies review