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Looking the wrong way? The SIS in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 pm, July 1st, 2020 - 12 comments
Categories: Culture wars, Deep stuff, defence, kremlinology, Spying, surveillance - Tags:

Richard Northey and Nicky Hager will discuss their experiences with the SIS over the past thirty-five years, what they reveal about the agency’s values and culture, and what we might want to see in the forthcoming review of the intelligence and security agencies post the Christchurch mosque massacre. St Andrews Church, The Terrace, Wellington, Friday 3 July 5:30pm. All welcome, register here.

12 comments on “Looking the wrong way? The SIS in New Zealand ”

  1. Scud formerly Exkiwiforces 1

    I’m more interested on who the hell in the Labour Government signed off for the Spooks to spied on old mate Northey? And have that bugger please explain himself while he is booted out of the party with no if’s or buts.

  2. Ad 2

    Could they please do a repeat show in Auckland?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Both Palmer & Bolger deny knowledge of authorising our breaches of international law. I'm inclined to believe them – rogue behaviour by the SIS always seemed their default operational stance. Neither National or Labour have ever been serious about enforcing the law on the SIS.

    "Hensley confirmed there were multiple embassy raids over many years but that the practice ceased after fears grew about the potential for international fallout. Breaking into an embassy is a breach of the Vienna Convention, an international treaty that states that embassies are inviolable and the host nation should never so much as open the diplomatic mail bag." https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/420210/nz-broke-into-embassies-for-cia-and-mi6

    • Anne 3.1

      …rogue behaviour by the SIS always seemed their default operational stance. Neither National or Labour have ever been serious about enforcing the law on the SIS.

      It certainly was their default position in the 60s,70s, and 80s, but I think there are sufficient checks and balances in place now, plus a cultural change in attitude which makes it most unlikely to still be occurring.

      The reason neither National or Labour enforced the law is because they were largely kept in the dark about what was going on. The Service was a closed shop.

      I know some former senior Labour MPs were deeply suspicious of SIS activity – and with good reason – but they had insufficient evidence to act. Nor were they in power most of that time so couldn't do anything anyway.

      It should also be remembered that the Australian, British and US intelligence services were running amok in this country during those decades and its hard to know who was doing what, where, when and how.

      My father (a former British soldier) became [erroneously] a person of interest to them and, as his daughter, my life ended up profoundly affected by it. Since the 1990s I have been quietly investigating. Hence the reason I can claim the above with some confidence.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Good to hear your informed view, Anne. Hope you're right re things better nowadays. 🤞

  4. greywarshark 4

    What a wonderful opportunity to hear these two informed, experienced speakers. I hope everyone who possibly can will be there.

  5. McFlock 5

    I've been reading about UK MI5 in 1930s and during WW2.

    Couple of books – one a biography of Maxwell Knight (MI5's agent-runner), and my current is "Hitler's British Traitors" or something similar.

    The thing on Knight was particularly revealing – not only did he have a penchant for burglary, he started his career in the 1920s as a literal fascist: he joined the "British Fascisti" organisation. He later claimed he did this as an undercover assignment, but he was on assignment for another right-wing (Conservative) private espionage organisation, and he maintained contact with BF people he met. He even warned his old BF chum William Joyce of imminent internment just at the start of WW2. Joyce skipped the country and became "Lord HawHaw". He also focused on british communists throughout the 1930s, and was very slow to admit the threat of fascists in Britain.

    Domestic security services often seem to attract the most inappropriate people.

    • Anne 5.1

      He also focused on british communists throughout the 1930s, and was very slow to admit the threat of fascists in Britain.

      History does have a habit of repeating itself.

      I see a parallel with the int. agencies' previous tendency to hunt down those on the Left and in particular anyone who stood up and protested. Never mind most were genuine NZers whose views were proven correct time and again.

      At the same time they pretty much ignored the Fascist thugs and white supremacists whose views were not only anathema to most people but who were dangerous to boot.

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