A domestic terror attack is likely before the end of 2022. If it comes, it will be connected to the protest movement that has grown around Covid-19 issues.
The terrorist, if it happens, will be someone filled with rage. They will be acting alone and have gone from angry to almost incoherent by the time they act, if they act.
Right now, they won't see themselves as a potential terrorist. They will see themselves as being put upon by the conflict in society, the pandemic, the heightened presence of government in our lives.
What's more, they will be fuelled by conspiracy theories and false news - the sort of material Facebook is almost useless at stamping out - and feel an increasingly angry hopelessness at the vast (and non-existent) forces arrayed against them.
If not now, then soon, they will be dwelling on thoughts of violence. If they act, it will be with an anger that has grown to rage.
If it happens, it will be someone connected with the issues people are protesting about. They will be the person who hung around the edges of the group, not those actively and socially involved.
Years ago I spoke to an organiser of Springbok Tour protests around Eden Park. He spoke - horrified - of being approached by an angry, frustrated man after a meeting who reckoned he could kill half the team with his scoped semi-automatic rifle, if only he could be smuggled inside.
That was no imported, would-be terrorist. He was local. And if there is a modern equivalent, and if an attack comes, it will shake us to our core because this attacker will highly likely be homegrown.
That's an assessment based on the growing divides in our society and the increased intensity that has grown around those points over friction over the past few months.
In February, New Zealand's national security brains trust convened to issue a threat assessment. The Combined Threat Assessment Group estimated our threat level in New Zealand as "medium", partly based on the impact of the March 15 terror attack, partly on external online influence and partly on pressures created by the pandemic.
It warned of a "realistic possibility that cumulative factors, such as Covid-19 associated grievances and growing international and political and social tensions have increased the number of individuals in New Zealand motivated by personal grievances or single issues".
"Medium" threat means a "terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur". The next step up from that is "high" - that a "terrorist attack or violent protest or violent crime is assessed as highly likely".
This is where I believe we will get to over the next 12 months, if we haven't reached that point already.
New Zealand has not been so divided since the Springbok Tour protests. That was 56 days of turmoil that marked our nation for generations.
Our life with Covid-19 began 601 days ago on March 25, 2020, when we shut our doors to the world and to the virus. Since then, we have collectively suffered shared strain and stress with lockdowns, threat of virus incursion and the actual arrival of the Delta variant.
To control the virus, government has loomed larger in all our lives than it has in the living memory of most New Zealanders. Through laws passed in our Parliament, government has powers more compelling and more intrusive than since World War II.
For most - judging by our 90 per cent vaccination rate - this appears to be seen as necessary to deal with a pandemic that has killed 5 million people, injured many millions more and inflicted economic pain.
Yet there are those who see this as unnecessary. Largely, these are people whose faith in our system of government is such that they consider its advice and advisers less compelling than those to be found online.
Further, there are those who see in the Covid response measures reflections of the issues over which they had campaigned for years. And there are those whose opposition to our system of government see those Covid response measures as evidence that all they believed to be wrong is coming true.
If these are the smouldering embers of discontent, then it is the malicious actors in the background who are the accelerants. Some people just want to see the world burn, and so discontent with government, doubt over the pandemic and such becomes inflamed by anti-establishment rhetoric funnelled - largely - from alt-right groups from overseas.
These factors struck at our Team of Five Million. It has fractured. And while 90 per cent of us are still heading in the same general direction - and some reluctantly - others are determinedly heading the other way.
These past few months have accentuated the isolation of those positions and forecast a future which is even more isolated. The arrival of the Delta variant, the "no jab, no job" mandate, the new traffic light system that creates a relatively open New Zealand for those who follow the government's public health advice and perpetual lockdown for those who don't.
That measured, public health-led response to Covid has smashed a wedge into those fractures.
In the past few months, the level of anger displayed has increased markedly. In some cases, it has escalated to rage. The community has become polarised with enormous anger directed towards the Government. Much of it is aimed at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern but all MPs are copping it. If it was a National prime minister in charge, it would be the same.
There have been death threats aimed at politicians, public servants and journalists. In one case of which I'm aware, firearms were fired into effigies of politicians. Those voicing murderous intent are speaking louder and more often.
It doesn't have to end in violence. And the answer isn't to dial back on the public health response.
The answer is as complex and layered as the problem we need to resolve. De-escalation is key, on a personal level and on a community level. We all need to find greater levels of tolerance - getting angry at those opposed to the public health position New Zealand has adopted only drives people further away.
On a community level, local Facebook group admins need to stop hosting disinformation and misinformation. If that's too hard, just stop hosting all Covid-related content. We're all living with this on a daily basis and our community pages should be a refuge and not another battleground.
For those involved in the protest movement, look around you and consider the people you are keeping company with. To see righteous He Whakaputanga advocates marching in protest alongside Nazi banners and white supremacists is chilling.
There's a role for wider society to play. NZSIS director-general Rebecca Kitteridge has been cautiously pushing the line that New Zealanders should make contact and report those of concern. We are not a narking nation but some of us will know people who are starting to really concern us. Make the call.
The Herald raised this issue with the NZSIS. A spokesman notes the CTAG assessment includes watching trends abroad "which has included an increase in extreme anti-authority rhetoric".
The spokesman said the NZSIS role was to "detect and investigate violent extremism regardless of the ideology behind it". That did not, in itself, include protest action.
"We are specifically looking for those individuals with violent, extremist views who have both the capability and intent to carry out an attack, or support those that do."
The spokesman said New Zealand National Terrorism Threat Level continued to be "medium".
"The threat level is under constant evaluation."
• David Fisher is a member of a Reference Group formed by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security intended to hear views on developments possibly relevant to the work of the oversight office. The group has a one-way function in offering views to the IGIS. It receives no classified or special information from the IGIS or the intelligence community. The information in this story was not sourced from Reference Group discussions.