31 Mar 2016

Spy agency carries out warrantless surveillance

5:33 pm on 31 March 2016

The Security Intelligence Service (SIS) has carried out surveillance without a warrant, the minister responsible for the spy agency has confirmed.

240714. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Maori from Tuhoe arriving for the final reading of the iwi's Treaty Settlement in Parliament. Chris Finlayson.

Chris Finlayson Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

The new powers were granted to the agency in a 2014 anti-terror law change.

In the agency's annual review, SIS director Rebecca Kitteridge reported that one authorisation was granted between 1 July and 31 December 2015.

The minister, Chris Finlayson, would not confirm the circumstances that led to the authorisation but said the use of warrantless surveillance was pretty rare.

He said the warrants were issued in urgent or emergency situations.