The Green Party has secured a seat on Parliament's secretive Intelligence and Security committee, a week after its MP Golriz Ghahraman protested at the Waihopai spy base and called for its closure.

The membership of the committee, which oversees spy agencies the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau, was confirmed in Parliament today.​

There are seven members of the committee; the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Opposition leader Bill English are automatic members. Other successful nominations were NZ First leader Winston Peters, Greens co-leader James Shaw, Minister Responsible for the SIS and GCSB Andrew Little, and National MPs Amy Adams and Chris Finlayson.

The committee comes under the Intelligence and Security Act, which was enacted last year.


The call in the House on the committee membership was taken by Ghahraman, the party's spokeswoman on security and intelligence, who last week took part in the annual protest at Waihopai.

She did not mention the spy base in her speech, though she alluded to the "complicated" relationship that has existed between the party and the committee.

"For almost 20 years, Green Party MPs have been calling in this House for this committee to be reformed, for it to much more closely reflect other select committees in Parliament in transparency, in accountability, and membership, for it to move away from operating as a secret meeting," she said.

She added that the Greens would bring a healthy scepticism to the committee, but also promised to behave.

"We will bring cautious and, at times, sceptical scrutiny of the committee's work and the spy agencies' activities. We will also treat our responsibility on the committee with appropriate discipline and the code of conduct that is required".

Five days ago, Ghahraman joined the annual protest at GCSB base in Waihopai.

"So the Green Party policy remains to shut down the base," Ghahraman told the protest.

"We have to keep up our voices because it does matter. It is hurtful to us as humanity to have things like this happen, so I will be keep a loud voice on that."


Three activists managed to infiltrate in 2008 and deflate one of the dome covers of one of the satellite dishes.

Following a jury acquittal of the trio, then-director of the GCSB Sir Bruce Ferguson and his predecessor Warren Tucker released a statement saying the station was not a spy base contributing to, in the words of the activists, "unspeakable evil".

"It was not - and is not - contributing to 'unspeakable evil'. Quite the reverse."