Prime minister John Key has strongly hinted that China has been involved in cyber attacks on public or private sector cyber systems in New Zealand.
But he refused to confirm or deny it to reporters on his current visit there to China.
"I don't think that would be the right thing to do because we just don't identify those as a general rule," he said when asked.
"We can and do see cyber attacks on private and public sector entities in New Zealand. We are constantly upgrading our capability of defending against those and we are actively encouraging New Zealand companies to take the protection of their data very seriously because where we have seen cyber attacks they have compromised New Zealand companies. "
He said the Government Communications Security Bureau worked with companies to ensure they were aware of the risks and to encourage them to upgrade their protection.
The importance of New Zealand to China suggests that if he could deny its involvement, he would.