Prime Minister John Key has stood by claims there are people with connections to infamous terrorist organisation Al Qaeda training in New Zealand.
Mr Key told a radio station there were people in New Zealand who were training for Al Qaeda camps who operate out of New Zealand and who are in contact with people overseas who had gone to countries such as Yemen to continue their training.
Mr Key told the Rotorua Daily Post while on a visit to the city that most New Zealanders would accept there were small numbers of people with links to the organisation living in the country.
"People have trained in New Zealand and gone off to those camps and that's just the way things are.
"We live in a global environment where there are real threats.
"While it's very narrow and very small in number the facts of life are New Zealand is not immune from those potential risks."
Mr Key would not reveal how many people were involved, or their names, but said some of them could be New Zealand citizens and they were already being monitored.
"There are small numbers of radicalised New Zealanders who have either gone over to those environments or returned and I don't think this is terribly new. Some are off-shore and some are in New Zealand."
Mr Key said those being monitored had not necessarily broken the law.
"The fact some of them might have a link might be the sort of reason why the Government raises a warrant to observe their behaviour."
Mr Key said he had signed warrants to observe people from New Zealand who were currently in Yemen and that he knew who they were.
"There are very specific and unique examples where we know that there is a threat or a potential threat and we have to take those responsibilities seriously.
"We take the appropriate steps for anyone that the Government genuinely believes presents a risk and that's why we have the SIS and the GCSB."