Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

PM seeks new spymaster

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

Prime Minister John Key is on the lookout for a new spymaster to advise him on internal and foreign threats.

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advertised this week to fill the newly created position of deputy chief executive who will be "responsible for the oversight of the performance of the New Zealand Intelligence Community" including both the SIS and foreign intelligence service the Government Communications and Security Bureau.

Top of the list for key relationships for the successful candidate is that with Mr Key, "the role will have direct access".

The successful candidate will provide leadership and coordination of both the domestic and external security sector.

Another important aspect of the job is representing "the national security and intelligence community in liaising with counterparts in foreign jurisdictions and utilise those relationships to identify and mitigate risks to New Zealand".

The deputy chief executive will also "coordinate and lead government response to specific national security events".

The job is the first top tier intelligence role to be filled since Mr Key rejected a short list of candidates for the job of new GCSB boss in late 2011 and phoned his old school friend Ian Fletcher inviting him to apply.

- NZ Herald