Security & Risk Group
The Security and Risk Group (SRG) coordinates and provides leadership on a range of strategies, policies and operations for strengthening national security and stability.
Formerly known as the Domestic and External Security Group (DESG), the group was renamed in 2010 as a result of changes which included the establishment of the Intelligence Coordination Group (ICG). The change in name reflects the changing nature of potential security risks to New Zealand, which present more complex challenges than indicated by a simple “domestic / external” distinction.
SRG works with government agencies, local authorities and other entities of national security significance to:
- Strengthen early warning of emerging security issues
- Assess and evaluate potential national risks
- Identify potential vulnerabilities and likely consequences
- Determine options for controlling significant risks
- Develop management strategies for government
- Coordinate planning and response around security risks
While SRG plays a clearly visible coordination and advisory role in times of actual crises requiring coordination of a national response, this is just one aspect of the group’s work. The shifting nature of potential security risks requires continuous environment scanning and assessment. SRG needs to understand current and emerging national security risks in order to develop long-term strategies for mitigation, preparation, and management of these risks by appropriate agencies. SRG constantly engages with agencies and entities to ensure national security risks are well understood and appropriately managed in line with government’s expectations.
SRG is responsible for providing timely, rigorous, relevant and accurate advice to the Prime Minister on issues affecting the security of New Zealand including, policy, legislative, operational and budgetary issues. A key role is to support the Prime Minister in leading a coherent and immediate national response to security crises and emergencies, and ensure the Prime Minister is kept informed of significant issues in these areas.
As part of its coordination role, SRG supports the DESC system, which involves the consideration of security and intelligence issues by working groups, senior officials, and Cabinet Committee.
SRG also provides support to the Commissioner of Security Warrants, a statutory officer under the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Act 1969. The Commissioner is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister following consultation with the Leader of the Opposition.
In addition to the Director, SRG consists of three advisors, an operations manager and support staff.