If life seems less dangerous since the new government came in, that could be because the threats we face have dropped from six to four.

The briefing given to Andrew Little as the new minister of the intelligence services was released publicly today.

It warns Little that New Zealand faces threats from cyber security, violent extremism, espionage and stability in the South Pacific.

The threats flagged to the last minister in 2014 were those four plus mass migration and organised crime.


There is no sign of either threat in today's briefing and Little went to some length to explain to reporters at Parliament that he thought the idea of boat people fetching up in New Zealand fanciful.

The briefing initially mentioned only three threats and blocked out the concern around regional stability.

The intelligence agencies lifted the redaction after it was pointed out they had already made that secret public.

Little was told that Islamic State-style extremism was the great focus for counter-terrorism efforts.

The service keeps a "watch list" of 30-40 people and its current investigations saw all but one inquiry focused on an Islamic State-linked threat.

There were still investigations into people who either supported Islamic State or had shown an interest in travelling abroad to fight for the organisation.

State-sponsored cyber-actors have also targeted New Zealand over the past year. The cyber threat has seen state-backed scanning and phishing in New Zealand.

And foreign spies have also focused on New Zealand to get "sensitive government and private sector information" and also attempts to unduly influence expatriate communities".