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One of the most important responsibilities of any government is to ensure the security and territorial integrity of the nation, including protecting the institutions that sustain confidence, good governance, and prosperity.

For this to happen, a government requires a resilient national security machinery – which is well led, strategically focused, coordinated, cost-effective, accountable, geared to risk management, and responsive to any challenges that arise.

What is national security?

National security is the condition which permits the citizens of a state to go about their daily business confidently free from fear and able to make the most of opportunities to advance their way of life. It encompasses the preparedness, protection and preservation of people, and of property and information, both tangible and intangible.

Defining national security in legislation

For information about the definition of national security as it relates to the New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill 2016, see Defining National Security.

For more information download the National Security System Handbook (PDF, 1.11 MB)