11 Apr 2019

SIS director Rebecca Kitteridge offers condolences to Christchurch attack victims

10:22 am on 11 April 2019

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Christchurch mosque attacks, Security Intelligence Service (SIS) director Rebecca Kitteridge has offered her condolences to victims.

The head of the SIS Rebecca Kitteridge and the head of the GCSB, Andrew Hampton arrive at Parliament.

Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge, centre, and GCSB director-general Andrew Hampton, right, arrive at Parliament. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

Ms Kitteridge and the head of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Andrew Hampton, came to Parliament to speak to MPs about foreign interference in general elections.

A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the shootings was launched by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the start of the week, with a specific focus on the role of the intelligence agencies.

There have been significant questions about whether the spy agencies were paying enough attention to the threat posed by right-wing white supremacists in the lead up to the Christchurch terror attack.

The Royal Commission of Inquiry will look at what the agencies did or did not know about the gunman's activities before the attack, what actions, if any, were taken, whether there were any impediments to information sharing with relevant state sector agencies, and whether their counter terrorism priorities were appropriate.

In her opening remarks to Parliament's Justice Committee, Ms Kitteridge said she wanted to acknowledge the Christchurch shootings and offer her deepest sympathies to the victims.

"The NZSIS has two main priorities in relation to Christchurch, supporting the police investigation and the resulting prosecutions and we're also focused on mitigating the risks to New Zealand posed by possible revenge or copy-cat attacks."