Cyber crime agency held back by quake

6:52 pm on 28 March 2017

The launch of a national agency to combat cyber crime has been delayed by three weeks due to the Kaikōura earthquake.

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The $22 million project is a key element of New Zealand's cyber security strategy and will be the first point of call for all online threats and attacks nationwide.

The government had planned to unveil the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) on 20 March.

But documents released under the Official Information Act show the government has approved a delay until 11 April.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said some Wellington offices had to be temporarily closed after the November quake knocked loose asbestos.

"IT development systems were unable to be accessed, as secure systems to support business continuity in a disaster had not yet been built."

The documents said CERT could be launched on time "with limited technical services", but warned that could hurt the agency's reputation and perceived competency.

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