On 16 September the Inspector-General responded to a question from Radio New Zealand about allegations relating to GCSB in the following terms.
Can she provide a 100% assurance that the GCSB is not collecting and has not collected mass data on New Zealanders?
And can she provide a 100% assurance that the Cortex programme the Prime Minister has outlined does NOT allow for the collection of mass data?
“As part of my role as Inspector-General, I review whether the GCSB complies with the restrictions upon interception of New Zealanders’ communications and with the requirement to intercept communications only for authorised purposes. That review is ongoing.
I am only able to comment on specific GCSB activities through my annual and inquiry reports. However, I can advise that I have not identified any indiscriminate interception of New Zealanders’ data in my work to date. I will continue to monitor these issues.”
Following further media enquiries, the statement was then released to all media at 8:30am on 17 September.