16 Mar 2016

GCSB gets new director

12:42 pm on 16 March 2016

Andrew Hampton is to be the new director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, Prime Minister John Key has announced.

Andrew Hampton

Andrew Hampton Photo: SUPPLIED

Mr Hampton has been appointed for a five-year term that begins on 26 April.

The appointment comes a week after a review by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patricia Reddy recommended wide-ranging changes to laws governing New Zealand intelligence and security agencies.

Mr Hampton currently works at the State Services Commission as the government chief talent officer.

He has previously held positions including the director of the Office of Treaty Settlements, deputy secretary of Courts, deputy chief Executive of Crown Law and deputy secretary for Education.

Mr Key said Mr Hampton was a respected public servant with experience in senior leadership roles.

"His leadership skills and public service experience will help strengthen the GCSB and ensure it fulfils its important role in protecting our national security and well-being within the constraints of the law.

Former GCSB director Ian Fletcher.

Former GCSB director Ian Fletcher. Photo: RNZ

"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."

The current acting director Lisa Fong would continue until Mr Hampton took up the role next month.

The appointment of the former head of the electronic spy agency, Ian Fletcher, caused controversy after it was revealed he was personally known to the prime minister and Mr Key had approached Mr Fletcher about taking the job.

In a surprise move, he resigned at the start of last year.

Mr Fletcher also oversaw the significant changes to the law governing the GCSB following the Kitteridge Report, which was prompted by the revelation the spy agency had carried out illegal surveillance on internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom in 2012.

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