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Information for the purpose of participating in the Royal Commission inquiry into the attack on Christchurch Mosques.

Mahrukh Sarwar made this Official Information request to New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Mahrukh Sarwar to read recent responses and update the status.

From: Mahrukh Sarwar

Dear New Zealand Security Intelligence Service,

We request the following information for the purpose of participating in the Royal Commission inquiry into the attack on Christchurch Mosques.

Relevant mentions
1. Copies of SIS documents, correspondences and addresses (including but not limited to emails, letters, presentations), for periods A, B, C and D, referring to any of the following terms:
a. Arab / Muslim / Islam / Islamist / Islamicist / Jihadist /
b. Terrorists / Extremists / Radical / Far-right / White supremacy

2. How many, and which organisation or individual(s), have provided any consultation or training or advice to the SIS on matters relating to:
a. Arab / Muslim / Islam / Islamist / Islamicist / Jihadist /
b. Terrorists / Extremists / Radical / Far-right / White supremacy

Transparency as to role
2. All interviews, speeches and lectures on the topic of the 'Role of the SIS' from periods A, B, C and D.

Engagement with Muslim Community
3. The dates of all meetings with Muslim organisations in New Zealand and minutes of such meetings from periods A, B, C and D.

4. On how many occasions were Parliamentarians directly involved in meetings with the SIS for periods A, B, C and D? How many of these involved or pertained to a person(s) from the Muslim community?

5. How many experts on the Muslim Community or faith have you engaged or consulted over the periods A, B, C and D?

Level of cultural training
5. Copies of staff training documentation and audio-visual programmes on Islam and Muslim from periods A, B, C and D.

6. What professional cultural advice or training or resources has the SIS requested or received on Islam or Muslims for periods A, B, C and D?

Warrants:
7. The annual reports list warrants that allow SIS to monitor people but do not specify why they have been issued. What were the warrants issued for between 2002 and 2018? Were any of these warrants for white supremacists?

Diversity:
8. What is the list of ethnicities of the staff of the GCSB for the last financial year?

9. What is the ethnic cultural composition over the periods A, B, C and D of your
a. senior management
b. senior operational staff

Advice from other relevant states
9. What are the number of people from the UK, US, Canada and Australia who have been appointed as staff or have been consulted for the periods A, B, C and D

Prioritisation methods
10. What methods does the SIS use to determine priorities regarding threats to national security?

11. How do security agencies identify threats as either “potential threats” or “possible threats” or “imminent threats”?

Action on warrants and white extremism threats
12. Where warrants were issued for white supremacists, how were those warrants actioned?

13. How much time, cost and other resources were expended in investigating those warrants obtained?

14. How much time, cost and other resources were expended in investigating whether further warrants may be needed?

Overall resource dedication
15. How much resources, including financial resources, were devoted to monitoring white extremism during the periods A, B, C and D?

16. How much resources, including financial resources, were devoted to monitoring non-white communities, including Muslim and Maori communities, during the periods A, B, C and D?

17. How much resources, including financial resources, were devoted to monitoring other groups such as animal rights, environment and health activists, during the periods A, B, C and D? What are those groups?

18. How much resources were devoted to the monitoring and operations leading to the Urewera raids?

Reflection on reasons for inadequacies
19. What has prevented more proportionate and appropriately conducted raids from being carried out against white supremacist groups?

20. What was the reason the SIS understands for the cause of
a. missing the Christchurch attacker
b. less attention paid to white extremism

Methodology of categorisation
21. How do the SIS distinguish between white supremacists and far-right extremist groups?

22. How do the SIS distinguish between white and non-white groups?

Level of external accountability
23. On how many occasions has there been a review of policies regarding Muslims by any persons outside the SIS for periods A, B, C and D?

Consultation with experts
24. How many experts on far-right extremism have you engaged or consulted over the periods A, B, C and D?

25. How many experts on other ethnic or religious nationalism or extremism have you engaged or consulted over the periods A, B, C and D?

Policy Reform
26. What cultural intelligence and cultural awareness and sensitivity training and reform arose out of the consequences of the Ahmed Zaoui Case? 

27. What cultural intelligence and cultural awareness and sensitivity training and reform arose out of the consequences of the Urewera Raids? 

General questions
28. How does the SIS claim it properly prioritises and curate their intelligence given their lack of key target community and lack of cultural contextual understanding of the communities under threat (or of some threat)?

29. How does the SIS claim to properly curate their intelligence given their approach to a key target community lacks any multi-dimensional integration or reflection of the complexity of those communities?

30. How can the SIS expect to properly prioritise and curate their intelligence when the government and the society in which it operates and informs their work have not undertaken any substantive engagement with the world’s second largest faith community?

31. How many people have been suspected of supporting Serb-nationalism or the Bosnian Genocide since 1995?

We request information for the following time periods:
Period A: October 2017 – present
Period B: November 2008 – October 2017
Period C: December 1999 – November 2008
Period D: November 1990 – November 1999

For the requests that ask for information from Periods A, B, C and D please note we do not require that all the information come through at once.
We request in order of this priority: Period A, then B, then C and finally period D.

Word-specific requests: please include variant spellings for these. E.g. For a request pertaining to “Muslim”, please include variants such as “Moslem”.

We appreciate that our requests are extensive. However, they are not disproportionate to the significance of the matters we are engaging in with the Royal Commission.

Yours faithfully,
Mahrukh Sarwar

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New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Good morning Ms Sarwar,

I am writing to confirm we have received your request and have begun working through it. I note that one question refers to the GCSB (What is the list of ethnicities of the staff of the GCSB for the last financial year?). We are going to assume this was a typo and treat it as though you were asking about the NZSIS. If this is incorrect, and you are only interested in the GCSB's staff ethnicities, please do get in touch.

We are able to be contacted at [NZSIS request email].

Kind regards,

NZSIS

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New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Dear Ms Sarwar

We refer to your official information request dated 13 September to the NZSIS.

The Official Information Act 1982 requires that we advise you of our decision on your request no later than 20 working days after the day that we received your request. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to meet that time limit and we are, therefore, writing to notify you of an extension of the time to make our decision, to 8 November 2019.

This extension is necessary because your request is for a large quantity of information and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with our operations and consultations necessary to make a decision on your request are such that a proper response cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit.

We will still endeavour to provide you with a response as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

NZSIS

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New Zealand Security Intelligence Service


Attachment OIA response 2019 11 08.pdf
3.7M Download View as HTML

Attachment 20.nzsis community engagement brochure.pdf
438K Download View as HTML

Attachment opening address may 2007.pdf
1.0M Download View as HTML

Attachment talking points 2002.pdf
2.5M Download View as HTML

Attachment talking points november 2007.pdf
280K Download View as HTML

Attachment The Islamic Women s Council annual conference 15 July 2017.pdf
93K Download View as HTML


Good evening Ms Sarwar,

Please find attached a response to your OIA, along with a few other relevant attachments.

Kind regards,

NZSIS

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Link to this

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service


Attachment OIA response 2019 11 08.pdf
3.7M Download View as HTML

Attachment 20.nzsis community engagement brochure.pdf
438K Download View as HTML

Attachment opening address may 2007.pdf
1.0M Download View as HTML

Attachment talking points 2002.pdf
2.5M Download View as HTML

Attachment talking points november 2007.pdf
280K Download View as HTML

Attachment The Islamic Women s Council annual conference 15 July 2017.pdf
93K Download View as HTML


Good evening Ms Sarwar,

Please find attached a response to your OIA, along with a few other relevant attachments.

Kind regards,

NZSIS

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From: Mahrukh Sarwar

Dear Ms Rebecca Kitteridge,

Thank you for your response to our OIA requests.

We note that these follow up requests are made several months after our original requests during which time you would have had the chance to consider many of the critical issues raised; these issues are raised for substantive reasons and regarding ongoing concerns of public safety and reliability of the assurances of safety.

Firstly, as a general question, we ask how the NZSIS distinguishes information they would rather not disclose for public relation reasons (both domestically and through foreign relations), and information that is genuinely going to prejudice defence and security of New Zealand. We have noted that in several instances, information has been withheld under section 6 of the Act without any compilation, disclosure or analysis of the information and without providing details for why information is theoretically prejudicial. Under section 19(a)(ii) of the Official Information Act, we are entitled to ask for the grounds in support of the reason for refusal. The High Court has stated that the test in section 6(a) requires evidence (Kelsey v Minister of Trade [2016] 2 NZLR).

Please find comments on your response to each question below. All of the specific responses we have provided below, while arising in the context of individual requests, apply to all requests as a whole.

Question 1
Premature refusal
This information has been withheld under section 18(f) of the OIA. Under sections 18A and 18B of the Official Information Act, you were required to consider whether the reason for your refusal can be removed either by consultation, fixing a charge or extending the time period for a response. Your response simply states that you think an extension of the timeframe would not enable the NZSIS to provide a response. We note that failing to follow the steps in sections 18A and 18B of the Act was held by the High Court as unlawful (Kelsey v Minister of Trade).

You have not made any effort to make this information available through avenues set by Parliament. This clearly goes against Parliament’s intent in ensuring agencies engage with the requests before they refuse them under section 18(f).

Context
We note both the historic significance of the Christchurch events and of the need for an initial comprehensive investigation which the Royal Commission and civil society organisations are currently undertaking. Your agency is a primary agency in this regard and we expected from public agencies with your status that the priority of this issue is self-evident, as it is to everyone at large. The question asked would be of interest to numerous legal and other processes in the coming period in response to the attacks. The context of this request would appear to outweigh even substantial inconvenience to your agency.

Period of Requests
We have divided up the requests into four periods for two reasons. Firstly, these periods are relevant as they correspond to significant domestic and international events. Secondly, these periods provided are consistent with the different governance terms in New Zealand. We believe the NZSIS and other agencies ought to keep a record of information in accordance with governance terms. This is because these agencies are required to pass on information to incoming Ministers, evident in NZSIS’s operational processes (1).

Timely Collation
We understand that this may take some time. We request that the information still be collated as soon as possible so as to inform the current surge of public resources already going into inquiring into these matters. Your agency’s cost will pale into insignificance in comparison.

In the worst-case scenario, even if your requests were done, for some extremely extenuating reason, very slowly over the next few months and as a consequence, some of the information is released after the Royal Commission comes to an end, we still request it. This is because, as noted above, the information will also be helpful for researchers and academics.

Practical approaches to genuinely considering this request may include focusing on the order of priority that we have provided and providing us with staggered responses. If needed, your agency can prioritise certain searches as well. you can decide which searches you consider inconvenient to take on first as per NZSIS’ operation processors or resource use etc. We request that you keep us updated on your process.

Conclusions about uncollated information
In your response, you predict the “vast majority” of information would be withheld. You have made this statement without complying, yet alone analysing, the substance of the information. This does not provide the reassurance and transparency that the OIA process is intended to provide (as stated in section 4 of the Act). Once information has been compiled, your agency should then specifically outline which aspects need to be withheld under section 6 of the OIA. This is the approach taken by the High Court in Kelsey v Minister of Trade, where it was stated the “blanket” approach taken by the Minister “did not comply with the text, scheme or purposes of the Act.”

Accordingly, we have been very disappointed with the lack of helpfulness of your responses to our requests and your dismissiveness without engaging in any of the clearly stipulated legal processes on such an important matter of public safety and significance.

Question 2
Premature refusal
This information has been withheld under sections 6(a) and 6(b) of the Act. You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. There is no information about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing sections 6(a) and 6(b). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal.

Furthermore, it is difficult to gauge the extent of your refusal without a proper compilation and itemised disclosure and/or refusal. You have not provided any itemised lists of refusals, such as what the general nature of the address or training was, who it was made to, what year and why it is prejudicial. We argue that this is analogous to the “blanket” approach taken by the Minister in the Kelsey case, which was held to be unlawful.

Examples of information requested
You should have disclosed a number, type and expertise of organisations and individuals who have provided consultation/advice/training on the cited matters. Below, we have detailed basic information we expected.

Please note that these examples are only hypothetical, and we are not suggesting that the NZSIS holds this exact information. Rather, the examples illustrate the level of information and the itemisation we would expect of the NZSIS when it comes OIA disclosures for the sake of upholding the purposes of the Act in section 4. Training and advice would only reassure the public that the NZSIS is properly equipped, rather than give intensive information about the particulars of intelligence, and therefore should not breach section 6 of the Act.

Organisation: New Zealand University;
Year: 2002
Subject: Radical Islam;
Expertise: Security and Islamic Extremism
Organisation: Australian University
Year: 2005

Topic: White Supremacy in Australasia
Expertise: Neo-Nazism and Far Right Extremism
Organisation/Provider: NZ based security consultancy
Year: 2006

Topic: Far-right extremism in the South Island
Expertise: White Supremacist Gangs around NZ
Organisation: UK Extremism Security Sector Agency
Year: 2008

Topic: Kinds of Online Extremism on the rise
Expertise: Online radicalisation

Question 3
Premature Refusal
Your agency has not made reasonable efforts to provide even “low-risk” information that would help us get even a rough sense about the general kind of information we are requesting, without disclosing prejudicial information. You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. You have not provided any information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal.

Furthermore, it is important to know the basis and extent of the refusal, and this will not be clear without a proper compilation and itemised disclosure/refusal. The NZSIS should also provide how many speeches or interviews seek to be withheld, their categories and the reasons for withholding.

We do not believe refusing under section 18(f) is appropriate in the circumstances given the significance of the events. In addition to this, the steps outlined in sections 18A and 18B of the Act were not followed and therefore, you have acted unlawfully. This shows us that you have not made any effort to try and make this information available, despite the avenues set by Parliament to ensure agencies engage with the requests before they refuse them under section 18(f).

Question 4
Clarifications
You have refused to disclose information about NZSIS’ engagement with Muslim community organisations under sections 6(a) and 9(2)(ba)(i). Can you please clarify how disclosing this information differs from the information you have provided about personally attending meetings with FIANZ and IWCNZ.

Can you please clarify that FIANZ and IWCNZ are the only Muslim organisations you have met with in your role as Director-General of Security?

Lack of itemised disclosure
You have not cited any details regarding the NZSIS’s engagement with Muslim organisations, including the number, type of organisations and type of engagement. This makes it difficult to gauge the extent of your refusal. There seems to be no apparent reasoning for the refusal, particularly when some organisations have been cited and others have not.

Context
Section 9(1) states where section 9 applies the information must be balanced with other considerations. Where withholding of the information is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirablein the public interestto make that information available, information must be disclosed. The significance of the Christchurch terror attacks and the need to be able to engage in the Royal Commission of Inquiry and numerous other processes outweigh the concern in section 9(2)(ba)(i).

It is important to know how the NZSIS has engaged with the Muslim community. This is because of the information that can be found about the NZSIS and the Muslim community. For example, in 2016 it was reported the NZSIS was giving money to young Muslims to spy on Mosques (2), and in 2014 John Key confirmed mosques around the country were being monitored following an attack in Yemen (3). The need for this information is further emphasised by the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Conclusions about uncollated information
You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. You have not given any reason for your refusal to provide information beyond your recurring trend to quickly cite section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal. We expect this to be done for each engagement or meeting, rather than relying on a “blanket” approach.

Question 5
Premature Refusal
You have not disclosed how many meetings have taken place or provided itemisation of the information. This is not in accordance with the text, scheme and purposes of the Act.

Context
We note that this request has been made in the context of the Christchurch terror attacks. We also note that the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, has made several anti-immigration and islamophobic comments in the media (4). There are grave concerns regarding the oversight and accountability that Parliament provides to these intelligence organisations. Despite your claim that the NZSIS is independent and politically neutral, we know that Cabinet is responsible for setting the National Intelligence Priorities (NIPs).

The public needs to understand how government or Parliament interacts with intelligence work. This goes to the heart of how intelligence work functions in a democratic society where presumably the public is supposed to have some kind of input through the government. Section 4(a)(i) shows that this is reflected in the purposes of the OIA.

Conclusions about uncollated information
You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. You have not given any reason for your refusal to provide information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal. We expect this to be done for each engagement or meeting, rather than relying on a “blanket” approach.

Question 6
Lack of itemised disclosure
Information about training and consultation should be classified similarly to the examples given in response to Question Two, and that this basic information would not be prejudicial under section 6.

Context
This is important to show that the NZSIS are adequately trained to deal with the Muslim community, who are publicly known to be targets of NZSIS’ intelligence. For example, in 2016 it was reported the NZSIS was giving money to young Muslims to spy on Mosques (5), and in 2014 John Key confirmed mosques around the country were being monitored following an attack in Yemen (6). The need for this information is further emphasised by the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Conclusions about uncollated information
You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. There is no information about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal. We expect this to be done for each engagement or meeting, rather than relying on a “blanket” approach.

Question 7
Clarifications

Firstly, we would like to confirm whether you are saying that for the relevant time periods (periods A, B, C and D) the only training that has been arranged regarding Islam and Muslims are the two workshops stated.

Furthermore, would it be possible to get an indication of how many staff (generally or specifically; number or percentage) have attended each of these workshops?

Finally, would you be able to provide the qualities and expertise of those who carried out the training?

Question 9
Clarifications
Would you please be able to clarify the relationship between the counter-terrorism risk register and obtaining and executing warrants? Presumably, the NZSIS would have obtained warrants for at least some of the people on the counter-terrorism risk register. In the 2017 Briefing to the Incoming Minister, it was said “all but one of NZSIS’s current counter-terrorism investigations concern ISIL-linked extremism.”

This shows that NZSIS is willing to share some information about its areas of focus and capabilities, and not other information. We would suggest that the information they have been willing to share is information specifically regarding Islamist extremists.

You have not provided with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. There is no information about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal.

Question 11
Premature Refusal
This information has been withheld under section 18(f) of the OIA, this being that the information cannot be made available without substantial collation. The refusal on the basis of section 18(f) is vague as it does not include basic information like how many senior operational staff NZSIS have, which would mean the information “cannot be made without substantial collation.”

Although the NZSIS might not record the ethnic identity for senior operational staff separately from the whole organisation, we believe that the NZSIS has the means to collate this data. For an agency of this size, this is a modest exercise to undertake.

Context
As noted above, we do not believe refusing under section 18(f) is appropriate in the circumstances given the significance of the events. The time and resources put towards collation can only be deemed appropriate in the context of what has happened.

Unlawfulness
In addition to this, the steps outlined in sections 18A and 18B of the Act were not followed and therefore, you have acted unlawfully. This shows us that you have not made any effort to try and make this information available, despite the avenues set by Parliament to ensure agencies engage with the requests before they refuse them under section 18(f).

Lack of insight into demographic composition
Furthermore, we would like to emphasise that it is alarming that the agency does not have any insight into its demographic composition, particularly given the nature of its work. This underscores the lack of insight into the political and cultural factors that play a critical part in intelligence, analysis, prioritization and decision-making.

Question 12
Lack of itemised disclosure
It is difficult to gauge the extent of your refusal without a proper compilation and itemised disclosure and/or refusal. You have not provided any itemised lists of refusals, such as the general nature of the consultation, who it was made to, what year and why it is prejudicial. Again we note that it is important that you determine all information individually, and not take a “blanket” approach.

Conclusions about uncollated information
You have not provided with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. There is no information about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing section 6(a) and 6(b)(i). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal. Would you please be able to clarify how disclosing information about how many people were appointed as staff or consulted would be prejudicial?

Question 13
Clarifications
Would you please be able to clarify how the NZSIS is able to uphold its statutory duty to act “impartially and independently” as stated in question 5 of your response, if the areas of focus are set out by Cabinet?

Furthermore, how much information does NZSIS provide the National Assessments Bureau (NAB) and Cabinet which would help influence their assessments and decisions? For example, in the Briefing to the Incoming Minister 2017 (7), the report clearly states the “counter-terrorism environment in New Zealand is still dominated by the influence of so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).” This is the only area of violent extremism explicitly mentioned in the report.

How does the NZSIS determine what information about their focus they are allowed to share that is not prejudicial and what information they are not able to share? For example, the NZSIS has repeatedly mentioned ISIL and Islamist extremism in speeches, annual reports, briefings and in the media but does not disclose further examples of focus. This is, for example, despite the threat of far-right extremism and white supremacy world-wide.

Question 15, 16, 17, 18
Again, the NZSIS has repeatedly disclosed its own priorities in annual reports and the media. This has been proven in several cases, such as the instances of Jihadi brides, and that young people are especially vulnerable to objectionable material online (8). Furthermore, the NZSIS has repeatedly mentioned that between 30 and 40 people have been listed on NZSIS’s counter-terrorism risk register.

The 2017 briefing mentioned above states “all but one of NZSIS’s current counter-terrorism investigations concern ISIL-linked extremism” but there are no further details about the one person who is not linked to ISIL. This, again, suggests that NZSIS is more willing to share information regarding some areas of focus, like Islamist extremism, than other areas.

Question 19 and 20
Again, you have refused to disclose this information on the grounds that doing so would disclose the NZSIS’ focus and capabilities. However the NZSIS has repeatedly mentioned ISIL and Islamist extremism in speeches, annual reports, briefings and in the media but will not address questions about resource allocation. The NZSIS is a public service agency and is funded by New Zealand taxpayers. The NZIC has received $153m dollars this year (9).

Therefore, for transparency and accountability (as recognised in the purposes of the Act), the NZSIS should release general information about the utilisation of their resources. This is especially so, because you have made it clear in your response to Question 23, the “alleged perpetrator was not ever brought to the attention of NZSIS prior to the mosque attacks.” This raises questions about the NZSIS’ efficiency in monitoring right wing extremism. Therefore, the NZSIS should be answerable to where their resources are being allocated, as they were unable to counter an imminent threat to New Zealand.

Question 22
Clarifications
We understand that the NZSIS does not have enforcement functions. However, we are also aware that the NZSIS will work with the New Zealand Police where there is a risk to public safety (10). We are also aware that, as an intelligence agency, the NSIS will pass information on to the police (11). We are requesting the information within this context.

Question 24
Clarifications
Would you be able to clarify whether you are suggesting that the NZSIS does not distinguish between white supremacists and far-right extremists?

Question 26
Clarifications
We understand that the SIS has met with the Muslim community on a number of occasions, as highlighted in the media and in your response to question 4. We are requesting information within this context. To further clarify, we are asking about policies regarding interaction with the Muslim community more generally.

Context
We believe that this information is incredibly important because of the information online about SIS’s interaction with the Muslim Community (12).

Questions 27 and 25
Lack of itemised disclosure
As discussed above, it is difficult to gauge the extent of your refusal without a proper compilation and itemised disclosure and/or refusal. You have not provided any itemised lists of refusals, such as what the general nature of the engagement or consultation was, who it was made to, what year and why it is prejudicial.

Furthermore, you have not provided us with how many people you have engaged with over the periods A, B, C and D, which is what the question asked.
Conclusions about uncollated information

This information has been withheld under sections 6(a) of the Act. You have not provided with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. There is no information about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal.

Questions 28 and 29
We would like to clarify that despite the national and international significance of these cases, no policy changes were made.

Questions 30, 31 and 32
Clarifications
To clarify, we asked if the NZSIS has not engaged in understanding target or threatened communities, how can it organise its intelligence work in those areas? Question 31 and 32 amply explains what we are talking about.

We expected to receive information about how the NZSIS has or plans to mitigate its shortfalls in understanding their target or threatened communities. Instead, we received general missionary statements which do not address the question as to how the agency’s shortfalls in understanding their target or threatened communities have been or will be mitigated.

Question 33
This information has been withheld under sections 6(a) of the Act. You have not provided, with sufficient particularity, the nature of the prejudice effect. You have not provided any reason about why you have refused to provide information beyond citing section 6(a). Under section 19(a)(ii) we are entitled to ask for grounds in support of your reason for refusal.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Kind Regards,
Mahrukh Sarwar

Footnotes
1. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/defaul...
2. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3206...
3. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/2466...
4. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/...
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/1113616...
5. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3206...
6. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/2466...
7. Briefing to the Incoming Minister 2017
8. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politic...
9. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3861...
10. https://www.nzsis.govt.nz/assets/media/N...
11. https://www.nzsis.govt.nz/assets/media/N...
12. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3854...
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/3206...
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4869086/...
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/1115185...

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From: OIA Privacy
New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Dear Ms Sarwar

We are writing to acknowledge receipt of your official information request, and follow up comments relating to the previous response, dated 17 February 2020.

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than 20 working days after the day that your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact [NZSIS request email]. If any additional factors come to light which are relevant to your request, please do not hesitate to contact us so that these can be taken into account.

Kind regards

NZSIS

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From: OIA Privacy
New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Dear Ms Sarwar

We refer to your official information request dated 17 February 2020.

The Official Information Act 1982 requires that we advise you of our decision on your request no later than 20 working days after the day that we received your request. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to meet that time limit and we are, therefore, writing to notify you of an extension of the time to make our decision, to 24 April 2020.

This extension is necessary because your request necessitates a search through a large quantity of information and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with our operations, and the necessary to make a decision on your request are such that a proper response cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of your request with us, including this decision, please feel free to contact [NZSIS request email]

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.

Kind regards

NZSIS

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