Government has appointed a new caretaker director for its spying agency, and has begun the search for a longer-term boss who can restore trust after a bruising couple of years.

Deputy Solicitor-General Una Jagose has been chosen to take over as acting director of the GCSB when Ian Fletcher stands down at the end of the month.

Minister for the GCSB Chris Finlayson said Ms Jagose had "a reputation for hard work and delivering results".

She has more than a decade of experience at Crown Law and was previously chief legal advisor at the Ministry of Fisheries.


The State Services Commission yesterday began advertising for a permanent director, who will be tasked with implementing any changes which come from a statutory review, due to begin in July.

The job listing showed one of the priorities for the new spy boss would be to "continue to build trust and confidence in the intelligence and security sector".

The GCSB has had a difficult couple of years. It was found to have illegally spied on 88 New Zealanders - including Kim Dotcom - in a review in 2012, after which the Government reformed spy laws to make it legal to spy on Kiwis in some cases.

This prompted widespread debate about the scope of surveillance in New Zealand, which was reignited by whistleblower Edward Snowden last year.

Mr Fletcher is standing down for family reasons after three years as director. Opposition parties have urged a more transparent process than Mr Fletcher's appointment in October 2012.

It was revealed after Mr Fletcher was employed that he was an old school friend of Prime Minister John Key.