Review of NZSIS use of closed circuit television (CCTV)

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has today released a report on New Zealand Security Intelligence Service use of access to closed circuit television(CCTV).

“My review found the Service uses CCTV in a targeted and specific way, not for general surveillance", says the Inspector-General, Brendan Horsley. “It does not retain or record footage.”

“Overall, I’m satisfied the Service’s current use of access to CCTV is lawful and carried out in a responsible and proper way,”

“I have recommended some improvements to the Service’s internal guidance for staff on the use of CCTV and better record keeping of CCTV use to help my office maintain oversight.”

“My office will be paying continued attention to the Service’s use of CCTV. It can be a valuable tool for intelligence operations, as it has been for law enforcement for some time. But any misuse or over-use would be a significant, unreasonable and unnecessary erosion of privacy.”

Mr Horsley said his public report was enabled by NZSIS agreement that its access to CCTV did not need to be classified.

“When I began my review, the mere fact that the NZSIS uses CCTV was classified, which would have prevented any meaningful public report. The Service agreed, however, that its use of the technology did not need to remain classified. This is a welcome and sensible acknowledgement in the interests of better informed public debate.”

Mr Horsley said his office had worked closely with the Privacy Commissioner during his review and the two offices would continue to cooperate in monitoring developments in the use of CCTV.

The full report is available on the IGIS website:

Media contact: Alison Horwood – 021 636 416 –

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