A new head of New Zealand's foreign intelligence agency has been named.

Prime Minister John Key has announced the appointment of senior public servant Andrew Hampton as the director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, for a five-year term starting on April 26.

Mr Hampton has previously been deputy secretary courts for the Ministry of Justice, deputy chief executive of Crown Law, deputy secretary for Education and director of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

He is currently the government chief talent officer at the State Services Commission, and is the head of profession for human resources in the state services.


Current acting director Lisa Fong will continue until Mr Hampton takes up the role.

Ms Fong was previously the agency's chief legal adviser, and replaced Una Jagose, who is left the GCSB to become Solicitor-General.

Ms Jagose presided over the agency at a time of increased transparency and a push to improve public relations, after its activities came under intense scrutiny following a series of revelations and allegations.

A wide-ranging review of the SIS and GCSB, headed by former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen and lawyer Dame Patsy Reddy, was released this month.

The Prime Minister said Mr Hampton was a respected senior public servant, and his leadership and experience would help strengthen the GCSB.

"His broad experience will also help continue the process of more closely connecting and integrating the security and intelligence agencies with the wider public service."