The Government updated its cyber security strategy singling out five areas for priority attention. In the recent budget the Government earmarked $8 million that will be spent over the next four years implementing the strategy.

Announcing the strategy Communications Minister Kris Faafoi says the Government aims to champion a “free, open, secure internet”.

He says partnerships will play an important role: “because neither government nor the private sector can do it alone. We have to work together to keep individuals, businesses, community organisations and the private sector to thrive online.”

The priorities are:


1. Cyber security aware and active citizens

2. Strong and capable cyber security workforce and ecosystem

3. Resilient and responsive New Zealand

4. Proactively tackle cybercrime

5. Internationally active


Faafoi says raising awareness means "building a culture in which people can operate securely online and know what to do if something goes wrong.”

Bolstering the workforce and ecosystem will see the Government work to increase the cyber security experts. This means supporting and expanding New Zealand’s cyber security sector. There are also plans to encourage the development of an academic research community. 

Resilience is about moving on from a focus on infrastructure towards being able to respond immediately to incidents. 

Faafoi says the Government will continue to tackle crime. This includes consideration of accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (the Budapest Convention). 

He says: "We will also continue to work with others on issues related to encryption: ensuring that law enforcement can access the information it needs while balancing the rights of New Zealanders to protect their privacy and security.”

That is international in scope, yet the updated strategy plans to take this further. Faafoi says New Zealand "will support the international rules-based order and promote peace and stability in cyberspace and ecosystem.”