29 Jul 2013

Defence rates investigative journalists as threat

4:51 am on 29 July 2013

A Defence Force security manual ranks investigative journalists as one of the top threats it needs to protect itself from.

It states 'certain investigative journalists' are one of three 'subversion' threats to the Defence Force.

The document defines subversion as 'action designed to weaken the military, economic or political strength of a nation by undermining the morale, loyalty or reliability of its citizens.'

It rates the top three subversive threats as 'hostile' intelligence agencies, ideological groups and some investigative journalists.

It says the force needs to investigate the 'capabilities and intentions' of these groups to protect classified information.

The document places subversion alongside sabotage, espionage, and terrorism as the main threats to the Defence Force.

Greens want Royal Commission of Inquiry

The Green Party is calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into the country's intelligence services.

Green Party co-leader Russell Norman said categorising journalists as subversives is alarming and a commission is needed to protect the country's democracy and free press.

Dr Norman said there appears to be a widespread culture of disregard for democratic norms within New Zealand's intelligence organisations, including the SIS, GCSB and the Defence Force.