Got a friend or a neighbour stashing suspiciously large amounts of uranium or nasty chemicals? Dob them in on 0800 SIS 224.

The Security Intelligence Service has gone back to basics, asking on its website for the public to be its eyes and ears in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

"In essence, please advise NZSIS if you are approached by any entity or individual you feel may not be engaged in legitimate activity, who could be contributing to the spread or acquisition of weapons of mass destruction," the SIS website says.

It supplies phone numbers and an email address: proliferationconcerns@nzsis.govt.nz.

The website goes on to specify the kind of activity that could be considered suspicious, including:

* A dodgy-sounding email address.

* If the recipient of the goods is part of a foreign army.

* Students enrolling in courses or seeking jobs related to WMD research, or WMD-related industries.

* Requests to attend conferences, seminars on sensitive topics.

* Requests about WMD-related matters from people who normally have nothing to do with them.

* Security arrangements which are either too excessive or too lax, demonstrating a lack of familiarity with normal practice.

* Unusual requests for shipping, packaging or labelling, or for an unusually large amount of spare parts.

Among the SIS's mission statements is the prevention of the build up of weapons of mass destruction.

"In order to protect its international reputation, New Zealand must uphold its counter-proliferation responsibilities in relation to the prevention of the spread or development of weapons of mass destruction," the SIS website says.

It defines WMDs as nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological weapons "that can cause large scale harm to people and/or property".

The website says the SIS protects the country against "threats to our international and economic well-being".

"A wide range of seemingly benign industrial goods, technology and expertise can assist WMD programmes and would-be proliferators, who can be both state and non-state entities, and those who assist them for profit or ideology," the website warns.

"There have been attempts to acquire New Zealand Science and Technology for WMD programmes or weapons delivery systems," the website says.