FIANZ upset they’re not controlling NZ Govt intel, are complaining that their march 15 recommendations have not been implemented yet. If you click the FIANZ tag on this page, you’ll see why it shouldn’t matter that FIANZ upset they’re not controlling NZ Govt intel!!
A new national intelligence and security agency has not yet been established despite it being a key recommendation from the Christchurch mosque attacks inquiry.
The new national intelligence and security agency, to be known as NISA, was integral to six of the first 10 recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attacks, released 18 months ago.
But three years on from the March 15 atrocity, the government says “it is too early” to set the agency up.
Faith communities say that’s a breach of the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations.
At the same time, departments are carrying on making national security changes – minus the oversight and guidance the super agency was meant to provide.
Islamic Women’s Council national coordinator Aliya Danzeisen said this risks repeating the inaccurate intelligence that contributed to the March 15 attacks.
“They have just gone and set up a framework, and then they’re going to use the people that they chose to select who goes into the committee, but they’re not even setting up NISA,” she said.
“Let the Cabinet stand up and explain to the whole public why they don’t want independent oversight of their security agencies.”
The Federation of Islamic Associations (FIANZ) said: “The Prime Minister accepted all the recommendations in principle and now we find some being deliberately delayed and some being possibly ignored.”
When asked about establishing, legally mandating and funding NISA – as outlined in the second recommendation – the minister in charge of leading the response to the inquiry’s recommendations, Andrew Little, said: “It is too early for that”.
Instead, he said, a review was under way as “a first step” towards reforming the national security sector.
Eighteen months ago Little told RNZ: “So, an agency that is doing the strategic stuff, a national security and intelligence advisor, that is the apex of the system and is the focal point of responsibility and accountability. That’s what we lack at the moment. That’s what we need.”
Muslim and Jewish leaders agree, and want NISA at the helm now, to provide oversight and coordination, and as the missing link for better civil society input and accountability.
“Is it going to ever happen?” Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman asked, after months of seeking answers from government.
“It hasn’t happened. And there doesn’t appear to be any budget for it to happen.”
The Royal Commission envisaged NISA doing key tasks, including appointing a counter-terrorism advisory group.
Instead, that is being done by the co-directors of a new national security research centre.
Little said the co-directors would “ensure sufficient independence from government in the advice it provides”.
But the faith communities say the opposite, and that they’ve had no input into appointing the co-directors, who will be announced this Friday.
NISA, along with the advisory group it appointed, was meant to decide what threats were researched.