New Zealand's new top spy boss revealed

Last updated 16:11 08/09/2011
Ian Fletcher GCSB
TOP MAN: Government Communications Security Bureau head Ian Fletcher.

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A former high flyer in the British civil service is New Zealand's new top spy.

Ian Fletcher has returned to New Zealand from stints in England and Australia to head up the Government Communications Security Bureau (GSCB).

He replaces Sir Jerry Mateparae, who was sworn in as Governor-General last week.

Fletcher will quit his post as the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland State's Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation and take over running the GSCB early next year, for five years.

He began working in the British civil service in 1989, after working as a diplomat for New Zealand. He's worked at the European Commission and for the UN before becoming principal private secretary to Sir Andrew Turnbull, head of the Home Civil Service. He was also chief executive of the UK Patent Office.

Announcing the appointment Prime Minister John Key said he has '' policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters.''

The GCSB gathers foreign intelligence to protect New Zealand's security, defence, economic and other ests.

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