Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Cheryl Gwyn reappointed to spy watchdog role

Cheryl Gwyn has headed New Zealand's spy agencies during a time of controversy. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Cheryl Gwyn has headed New Zealand's spy agencies during a time of controversy. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Experienced lawyer Cheryl Gwyn has been reappointed as inspector-general of intelligence and security for another three-year term.

Gwyn has been in charge of monitoring New Zealand's spying and intelligence agencies - the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and NZSIS - during a time of change and controversy, and her office has had a larger and more proactive role.

The GCSB can now spy on New Zealanders under spying reforms passed into law in March. The New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill brings the GCSB and the NZ Security Intelligence Service (SIS) under the same laws and warranting regime.

In a fundamental shift in policy, it allows the GCSB to monitor New Zealanders if national security issues are at stake.

Yesterday, Gwyn released results of an inquiry that found intelligence agency databases holding some of the most personal information about New Zealanders breached basic standards for protecting those secrets.

Gwyn started in the role on May 5, 2014. She was previously Deputy Solicitor-General, and has been a partner at two law firms and Deputy Secretary for Justice.

- NZ Herald

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