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Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

New Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security named

Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister John Key. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A new Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, former High Court Judge Andrew McGechan, has been appointed to replace Paul Neazor, who has held the job since 2004.

Prime Minister John Key made the announcement this afternoon without making any reference to Mr Neazor, other than to thank him for his work.

Mr Key said that while the term of appointment is for three years, Mr McGechan saw his appointment as an interim one, given the proposed changes to the role under the GCSB and Related Legisaltion Amendment Bill before the House.

That bill widens the pool of potential candidates who could undertake the role, beyond the current stipulation of a former High Court judge.

Mr Neazor is a former Solicitor General.

The role of the Inspector-General is to provide oversight of New Zealand's intelligence agencies.

As well as acting on complaints and conducting inquires at the relevant minister's request, the Inspector General can inquire by his or her own motion into matters relating to compliance with the law.

Following Rebecca Kitteridge's review into whether the Government Communications Security Bureau was acting lawfully, 88 cases of possible unlawful spying on New Zealanders was referred to Mr Neazor.

According to a press statement he formed a view there had been no breaches, although he thought the law was unclear.

- APNZ

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