Managing Threats to Domestic Security.

The attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001 have heightened world awareness of the risks to domestic security– especially the risk of terrorist attacks designed to cause mass casualties. The bombings in Bali in October 2002 further confirmed that the security environment has changed, and that countries need to adapt to meet new security challenges.

New Zealand is not immune to these changes. It is important – for the country’s own protection and well-being, and to meet international obligations – that New Zealand adapts to meet the new security environment in the most effective way possible. Unless security measures keep pace with those being adopted elsewhere, New Zealand risks attracting terrorist attention, and could unwittingly provide a ‘safe haven’ for terrorists and terrorist activities.

In this audit, we set out to provide assurance to Parliament and the public that threats to domestic security are being adequately managed. Our unique mandate as auditor of the public sector enabled us to examine the wide range of arrangements in place to identify and respond to domestic security threats.

I am pleased to report that New Zealand has taken, and is continuing to take, steps to ensure that it is meeting current “international best practice” in relation to domestic security.

I was impressed by how favourably the audit was received by the agencies involved, and I thank their staff for the very positive and willing assistance given to my auditors and their contribution to this report.

In particular, I thank the staff of the Domestic and External Security Secretariat, for their efforts in helping to co-ordinate the audit and the agencies’ responses.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

20 October 2003

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