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Spy chief insists SIS politically neutral after damning report

New Zealand Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge says she thinks the public can "absolutely have faith" in the SIS being politically neutral.

SIS director Rebecca Kitteridge says the public can still “have faith”. Source: 1 NEWS

"The people who work here are absolutely committed to compliance," Ms Kitteridge told ONE News.

Her comments come after her agency was slammed by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, for its release of "incomplete, inaccurate and misleading" information to John Key's office about a 2011 meeting Mr Goff had with then SIS director Warren Tucker about alleged Israeli spying in Christchurch.

Ms Gwyn said she found "significant failures by the SIS to meet its obligations, both in the release of information and in upholding political neutrality".

"Overall there was a basic failure to provide a full and accurate picture," Ms Gwyn said.

Mr Tucker was found to have made a number of serious errors of judgement which were the principal reason for his staff providing incorrect and incomplete information.

The report goes on to say Dr Tucker also failed to maintain a relationship of trust and confidence with Mr Goff and failed to safeguard the political neutrality of the SIS.

Labour leader Andrew Little says what the report reveals is "a politicisation of one of our most important state agencies".

However, Ms Kitteridge said: "I don't see that as being a widespread or kind of systemic issue."

Ms Kitteridge has promised to implement all recommendations which aim to ensure SIS staff know the rules around releasing official information. She says she's also seeking advice to find out whether staff involved in the Goff case should face consequences, "just to make sure that they're treated absolutely fairly."

That fairness has extended to apologies to Mr Goff, Mr Little and Mr Key.