The Inspector-General can inquire into or assist with several kinds of complaints or disclosures. This page describes the different kinds of complaints that may be made to the Inspector-General. You can find out how to make a complaint on the 'Make a complaint' page.
New Zealand citizens and permanent residents can complain to the Inspector-General if they consider they have been, or may be, adversely affected by something done by the NZSIS or the GCSB.
An employee or former employee of an intelligence and security agency can also complain to the Inspector-General if they consider they have been, or may be, adversely affected by something done by the NZSIS or GCSB. Before making a complaint, an employee or former employee must have exhausted all established internal remedies, or obtained the agreement of the relevant Director-General.
The Protested Disclosures Act 2000 protects current and past employees who make disclosures of serious wrongdoing in or by their organisation. These are called "protected disclosures" and are sometimes referred to as public interest disclosures or whistleblowing.
Under the Protected Disclosures Act and the Intelligence and Security Act, the Inspector-General is the appropriate authority for receiving protected disclosures about classified information and the activities of an intelligence and security agency. This means that in some circumstances a protected disclosure can be made directly to the Inspector-General.
The Inspector-General can also provide information and guidance to anyone considering making a protected disclosure about classified information or the activities of an intelligence and security agency. Information and guidance is provided on a confidential basis. More general information and guidance is available from the States Services Commission.
The Inspector-General has published a detailed policy about protected disclosures.
Requests for information about you held by an intelligence and security agency should be sent to the relevant agency in the first place. An agency may rely on section 32 of the Privacy Act or section 10 of the Official Information Act and decline to confirm or deny whether the information requested is held by the agency. You can send information requests to the agencies by email.
The Inspector-General can receive complaints about whether an intelligence and security agency has complied with the Privacy Act. The Privacy Commissioner can also recieve complaints about whether an intelligence and security agency has complied with the Privacy Act.
The Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017 allows the Prime Minister to issue a security certificate preventing a person from obtaining a licence to conduct outer space and high-altitude activities. A person who has been prevented from obtaining a licence because of a Prime Minister's security certificate can make a complaint to the Inspector-General about the issue of the ceritificate.