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National Assessments Bureau

The National Assessments Bureau provides independent and impartial assessments on events and developments relevant to New Zealand's national security and international relations. These assessments inform government decision making.

A crucial part of any country's national security system is its ability to make sense of the global environment.

The Intelligence and Security Act of 2017 sets out the National Assessments Bureau responsibilities; to provide intelligence assessments on events and developments of significance to New Zealand’s national security, international relations and well-being, and economic well-being. This information is provided the Prime Minister, Ministers, and the wider New Zealand government.

The National Assessments Bureau is New Zealand’s central, all-source assessments agency and part of the New Zealand Intelligence Community.

The National Assessments Bureau does not collect intelligence itself. Instead it draws on all available sources of information, including classified material and diplomatic reporting to produce assessments.

Though the National Assessments Bureau assessments support and inform New Zealand’s ability to make its own strategic decisions, we do not provide policy recommendations. Instead, assessments offer an important check in the system by providing an independent and impartial perspective New Zealand’s national security and foreign policy interests.

The nature of the National Assessments Bureau’s assessments vary. Some are produced rapidly, to illuminate the likely trajectory and implications of a fast-moving national or regional crisis. Others focus on longer-term and strategic issues, such as future global security trends. The National Assessments Bureau’s assessments are underpinned by rigorous research and collaboration, and sound analytic tradecraft.

Having a diverse and inclusive workforce is central to the National Assessments Bureau’s success; it helps us do better work for the government and people of New Zealand, and to attract and retain talented employees. Visit Working for the National Assessments Bureau for more information.

The Director of the National Assessments Bureau is Julian Grey.


Since 1975, New Zealand has had a primary all-source intelligence assessments agency, then called the External Intelligence Bureau, now called the National Assessments Bureau. NAB’s history dates back further to 1949 when, under a different name and with different functions, it was part of New Zealand’s military:

1949 - Joint Intelligence Organisation (JIO)
1953 - Joint Intelligence Bureau (JIB)
1975 - External Intelligence Bureau (EIB)
1988 - External Assessments Bureau (EAB)
2010 - National Assessments Bureau (NAB)

Over time NAB has evolved into a fully civilian agency, and since 1990 has been part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  NAB sits within DPMC’s National Security Group.

In March 2010, the External Assessments Bureau became NAB reflecting its domestic and external mandate. In addition to its core assessment function, picked up its role of coordinating intelligence assessment and promoting standards of intelligence analysis across the New Zealand Government.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 17 September 2020

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