SIS director Rebecca Kitteridge has been recalled today to answer questions by MPs on the committee considering extensions to the powers of the domestic spy agency, especially ones about wanting 48 hours of warrantless surveillance in a emergency.

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has also been asked to appear about oversight of such surveillance. The bill is ostensibly designed to deal with so-called foreign fighters for Islamic State but its measures would also have general application by the agency.

Today is a crucial day for the bill because key players in Labour and New Zealand First will decide what recommendations to put to their caucuses tomorrow morning.

National cannot rely on its support partners, United Future, Act and the Maori Party, all of which supported the bill to select committee but with opposition to the 48-hour clause.


Labour's foreign affairs spokesman, David Shearer, has hinted that his party's support could hinge on changing the 48 hours and having greater oversight. He thought if the SIS powers were extended Cheryl Gwyn should have greater oversight than proposed.

He also wants a more minimalist approach given that the bill expires once a review of intelligence agencies and their laws has been finished.

"If you are going to do something like this in a hurry and you know a further report is coming out then all you need to be doing is the absolute minimum and being as conservative as possible and leaving the rest to a more comprehensive review."

Act leader David Seymour said last night he was very uncomfortable with the 48-hour warrantless surveillance.

"I am yet to see the case that warrants can't be issued quickly enough to surveil actual threats that we've had. We can certainly imagine hypothetical ones but not actual ones."

He has been offered a briefing with Ms Kitteridge this week.

The Government wants the bill passed by December 10 when Parliament rises for the year.

To meet the deadline of getting the bill reported back to Parliament tomorrow the select committee heard submissions until 10pm on Friday and from 8am on Saturday.