How many times has NZDF assisted the Police with surveillance in the past three years?

Alex Harris made this Official Information request to New Zealand Defence Force

The request was successful.

From: Alex Harris

Dear New Zealand Defence Force,

This morning the New Zealand Herald reported that RNZAF Orions had been assisting the police with surveillance for law-enforcement purposes ("High tech planes fight crime", NZ Herald, 17/1/13). I would like to request the following information under the OIA:

* how many times in the past three years has NZDF assisted the police with surveillance? I'd like a breakdown by year, and by agency.

I am specifically seeking aggregate statistical data rather than specifics of each case in order not to infringe on the interests protected by section 6(c) OIA (maintenance of law and order). As this is not a national security function, section 6(a) should not apply.

I would prefer to receive an electronic response. Queries about this request will be automatically forwarded to me by the website.

With regards to s12 of the OIA, I am an NZ citizen and in NZ.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Harris

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From: ministerial services
New Zealand Defence Force

Dear Mr Harris

We estimate it will take up to a further 20 working days to complete the
research and consultation needed to process your OIA request.

Accordingly, you may expect to receive a substantive reply to your
request by 15 March 2013.

In terms of s28(3) of the OIA, you have the right to ask an Ombudsman to
review this interim response to your request.


Mike Scrivener
Senior Ministerial Coordinator OCDF
HQ NZDF Privacy Officer
DTelN (349) 7037
DDI (04) 496 0037
emailto: [email address]

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New Zealand Defence Force

Attachment OIA 1839 2013 Harris Signed.pdf
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Good afternoon Alex

Your OIA is attached as requested.




Ally Clelland
Media Manager
Defence Communications Group
New Zealand Defence Force
DDI: 04 496 0273 l [mobile number] l DTeIN: (349) 7273

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Mike McGavin left an annotation ()

I'm not an expert in this kind of stuff, but reading Section 9 of the Defence Act, it reads to me as if Ministerial authority (Prime Minister preferred, otherwise an appropriate senior Minister) is required for the Defence Force to help civil power. Furthermore, that authority expires within 14 days of it being issued.

If this is a correct interpretation (I'm unsure) It could be interesting to see which Ministers, if any authorised these assistances.

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Mike McGavin left an annotation ()

Hmm. I/S pointed out to me (via Twitter) that this requirement for Ministerial authorisation of the military being helpful is only required for emergency situations, or during industrial disputes. At other times, the military can apparently get as involved as it likes as a public service. (Good for things like Search and Rescue, but perhaps not so good for things like spying on citizens on behalf of police.)

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