2017 Award nominations

Developing the Practitioner Award:
Graham Barbara (NZ Police);
Cath MacGowan (MPI); and
Trisha Welch (MBIE) Winner

Innovation in Intelligence Award:
Steve Gibson (Corrections);
Geospatial Intelligence Support Team (Geoint NZ); and
FMA Intelligence Team (FMA) Winner

Intelligence Community Award:
Sarai Higginson (NMCC);
Sarah Peters (MPI) and Rachel Williams (NZP); and
NZIC Customer Engagement Project (NAB, GCSB, NZSIS) Winner

Intelligence Training Award:
John Goddard (NZ Police);
Sergeant Harley Bristow (NZDF); and
Graham Barbara (NZ Police) Winner

Practitioner Achievement Award:
Asif Quazi (NIC, NZ Police;
Alison Barker (FIU, NZ Police); and
Michael Wassenaar (NZ Customs) and Mark Bond (NZ Police) Winner



 This nomination recognises the significant contribution that Trish has made across the New Zealand and Pacific Intelligence communities over many years from intelligence analyst in the 1980’s, through to Programme Manager for the Pacific Region Immigration Identity and Intelligence Project and more.

Trish is an intelligence professional and an accomplished intelligence trainer who has, over many years, worked to develop intelligence practitioners within the New Zealand and in Pacific Intelligence communities.

She has been a key driver in working to develop and implement the NDIA, has been a workplace assessor and been extremely influential in the development and delivery of intelligence training for Customs, Police, CLAG and PRIIP.

In her roles, Trish has provided significant guidance in the intelligence careers of many practitioners and managers across agencies in both New Zealand and Pacific Island countries.  It is this unwavering dedication and commitment to growing intelligence practitioners for which she has been nominated tonight.



 With over 20 years operational experience in front line Policing, traffic crash analysis, and prison liaison, as well as ten years as an Intelligence Officer, Graham uses his background and experience to regularly assist and support others throughout the New Zealand intelligence community.

This has included: intelligence course delivery; assessment of National Diploma in Intelligence Analysis; liaison with CLAG; and the professional development of intelligence practitioners at the School of Prevention, RNZPC.

Graham has been pivotal in the development and delivery of specific organisational training to both NZ Customs and the Department of Corrections, whilst also regularly providing support to smaller agencies that do not have their own training capability.

He is a highly experienced practitioner who establishes cohesive working relationships and effectively contributes to the development of practitioner capability across the New Zealand Intelligence community. Graham works tirelessly for the benefit of all intelligence practitioners and is recognised through this nomination accordingly.



 This nomination recognises the long and distinguished career that Cath has had within the intelligence community and her ongoing dedication to evolving best practices and developing and growing new practitioners in the area.

Having created new structures and established both a wide range of new products and a high demand for services at MPI, the intelligence stream is now recognised as a stalwart in influencing high level decision making.

Cath has delivered a continuous improvements process that has shown a tremendous advance in the way that MPI has delivered its intelligence portfolio.  This includes the development of a new data analytics capability for the organisation and some key advances in investigation and economics intelligence.

The Intelligence teams have grown exponentially under Caths leadership and direction. She has taken every opportunity to grow and develop individuals in her charge, reinforcing the strengths of the current and growing the next level of intelligence professionals in New Zealand.




 To assist prioritisation and resource allocation within Corrections Intelligence, Steve led the development of the Prisoner and Offender of National Interest (PONI) methodology. This methodology provides a comprehensive and transparent method of prioritising individuals of national interest for intelligence targeting.

The methodology is characterised by structured comparison of ten attributes, the development of which is achieved through a collective definition and weighting process.

A PONI total is calculated for each attribute based on the scores they receive. Through a number of background calculations, and assessments a final PONI score is then developed, placing the offender from high to low interest.

The Corrections intelligence database has been customised to link individuals to their PONI assessments, as well as link their scores to any relevant intelligence. The database then enables scores to be tracked over time and provide an audit trail.

This methodology has been adopted by the Department for Correctional Services, South Australia.


 In 2015, the behaviour of life insurance advisers was identified as potentially presenting significant harm to New Zealand consumers through switching, or churning of insurance policies.

The team began a programme which resulted in the largest data collection exercise in its history.  Millions of data points were subjected to statistical analysis, including the ground-breaking use of the Cox proportional hazard regression model.

The team identified where churn was likely to occur, finding links between high rates of replacement business and high up-front incentives, such as overseas trips laid on by providers.

From over 3,700 advisers, 200 were identified as having a high rate of churn. These accounted for $110 million in annual premiums, earning almost 50% more from commission on life insurance than their peers.

This work has led to MBIE policy review, greater provider engagement and significant media coverage, as well as improving the behavioural patterns and leading to a number of investigative actions.



 The Geospatial Intelligence Support Team has developed a line of Significant Activity Reports that have been recognised as bringing benefit to decision makers at all levels, receiving plaudits and recognition from all corners, up to Ministerial level.

SIGACTs are GEOINT products rapidly published in the wake of terrorist incidents in locations of interest to NZ. As soon as the team is made aware of an attack, a product is put together, identifying where the incident took place and the location of key features such as NZ and partner diplomatic facilities.

The product includes essential information verified at the time of publication and where possible, photos of the incident or the location.

This GNZ initiative is now recognised across a range of agencies.  Popular at Watch Groups, it has been replicated by international partners in Canada, Australia, the US and the UK, who now produce SIGACTs based on the GNZ model for their national intelligence client use.




 In addition to representing New Zealand in various international maritime communities and regularly leveraging the support of these communities to assist NZ Government Departments, Sarai has established a NZ maritime intelligence community which spans across all relevant departments connected to the subject area.

The group members now regularly interact to collaborate on intelligence products and operational matters and have yielded a number of tangible results as a consequence.

As part of her ongoing work within the community, Sarai has also initiated and organised a Dark Craft Workshop, sponsored by NZ Customs to bring practitioners from Wellington and clients in Auckland together to advance mutual understanding, foster better opportunities for collaboration, and build the community.

Having built and managed the NZ All of Government Vessel of Interest Register and initiated an innovative NZ Maritime Intelligence Collection Plan, Sarai also chairs groups focussed on NZ Maritime Intelligence and Operation Mawsoni.


 The NZIC customer engagement initiative is the intelligence community’s effort to better understand its customers and increase the value that its intelligence provides to them.

The work involves GCSB, NZSIS and NAB working collaboratively to identify where the intelligence system works well, and where it is falling short from a customer perspective.  It is an approach that is fundamentally different from previous efforts undertaken in that it is cross-agency, enduring, and uses robust data to determine areas of improvement.

A small team has spent the past five months analysing in detail what customers are asking for and how well the agencies are currently placed to respond.  It has identified a range of areas of improvement, from capability building and training, to more customer-centric tailoring of material.

Having completed the initial assessments, the team is about to start trialling improvements to these areas to see how they can increase and improve on performance.


 In October 2016 Sarah Peters and Rachael Williams began work revitalising the External Analysts Meetings, now called the Intelligence Practitioners Group (IPG).

The purpose of IPG meetings is to focus on people, products and processes in intelligence. The meetings are about the business of being intelligence professionals and provide a supportive, collaborative environment for the professional development of practitioners.

Sarah and Rachel were required to update the charter to reflect the multi-agency focus, as well as provide a guiding document to assist new agencies wishing to join, and guide the establishment of IPGs in other regions.

Together the pair designed templates for the meetings, from coordination of the events, to diary and minute management.

As a result of this work, IPG meetings now occur regularly and as recognition and credibility of the meetings has grown, new agencies have joined in Wellington and there has even been an expansion to Auckland.



  JOHN GODDARD – NZ Police College School of Intelligence

 Before John recently made the transition from sworn police to employee, he held a role within the frontline and tactical intelligence space – specifically centring on gangs and organised crime for many years.

He now holds the role of senior practitioner at the Royal New Zealand Police School of Intelligence, where he is recognised for his knowledge, his expertise and his long time advocacy of the ‘so what’ principles of Intelligence.

Since arriving at the school the need for enhancing the skill sets of intelligence practitioners has become increasingly prevalent and John has had to contend with an overwhelming demand for courses, both within police and the wider CLAG community.

His sense of humour, professionalism and passion for on-training what he knows – frankly, to anyone that will listen has made John an indispensable asset to both the School of Intelligence and the wider New Zealand intelligence community.



 Over the past twelve months, Sergeant Bristow has provided contributions to training including being a Course Manager on the 2016 Field Human Intelligence Course, liaising with numerous defence agencies and civilian providers in order to provide the best possible instruction and education to the participants.

His work around this training received exceptional feedback from a number of senior decision makers, including the Land Component Commander, Commandant of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, and Commandant of the Land Operations Training Centre.

Sergeant Bristow demonstrates an ability to produce innovative and exciting ways to train and engage with soldiers. This is attributed to an inherent drive to produce the best Intelligence Operators that he is able in his relentless pursuit of excellence.

Recently posted to 1 New Zealand Military Intelligence Company Harley maintains responsibility for organising platoon training and is recognised as going above and beyond to develop the highest standard of intelligence practitioner.



 The role of Joint Intelligence Instructor for CLAG was developed in November 2014 with the purpose of delivering consistent intelligence training across New Zealand government agencies.

As the inaugural appointee, Graham developed and enhanced the role to achieve a new status as CLAG Intelligence Training Advisor. This change reflects the high level to which Graham has advanced the role, enhancing the position and building strong relationships across all 13 CLAG agencies.

In this role Graham has overseen a large increase in representation of agencies attending intelligence courses at the Police College.  The courses have also evolved and are now more reflective of intelligence beyond the Police only context, with Graham arranging for presenters, mentors and NDIA markers to come from a variety of agencies.

With his background and experience, Graham’s work helps to ensure the consistency of training for CLAG intelligence practitioners and consequently that across the whole of the NZ intelligence community.




 Project Loco is a multi-agency collaborative initiative aimed at addressing the lower-level importations of drugs into New Zealand via the open and dark nets.

The project is intelligence driven, with Michael and Mark looking to analyse intelligence and disseminate valuable, timely and accurate data to police staff as quickly as possible.

As a direct result of this work New Zealand Police have made a significant number of arrests and conducted preventative action visits which have led to warnings and educational feedback to consignees at the lower end and middle ground of the drug importation spectrum.

The project has led to a rise in drug-related arrests across the spectrum of Classes A, B and C drugs.  The success that Customs and Police have achieved through this approach has been noted as far away as the UK where recent BBC reports highlighted the myriad border successes in New Zealand, a substantial amount of these attributed to the Project.



 Having identified the risk of corruption to New Zealand’s broader national security, it was agreed at ODESC level that an enhanced understanding of the corruption landscape in New Zealand was needed. Asif was subsequently tasked to produce a strategic intelligence assessment on the scale of the corruption threat in New Zealand.

Asif gained a number of insights through conversations with individuals in over 25 organisations across the public and private sectors and the resulting assessment ‘Corruption in New Zealand: Perception vs Reality’ concluded that while our institutions were almost certainly free from systemic corruption overall, a number of factors suggested New Zealand’s high integrity culture was increasingly coming under pressure. The assessment asserted that a failure to promptly address this would have implications for our institutions and international reputation in the longer term.

This assessment has now become the catalyst for several pieces of work currently occurring across government, including multi-agency efforts focused on prevention of corruption.



From first taking her role with the FIU, Alison had an immediate impact and added immeasurably to the positive culture within the unit, instilling an appreciation of the value of financial intelligence in the detection and prevention of serious crime.

She has been integral in developing processes within the unit, facilitating a comprehensive review of intelligence products and enabling regular training days and development opportunities for staff.

The networks that Alison has have been instrumental in raising the profile of the FIU both within police and externally and she is always looking for ways to break down the traditional barriers between units and agencies.

Alison has also been instrumental in the FIU’s recent software upgrade, acting as the go-between for the FIU and IT staff, and as translator for both parties who communicate using very different languages.

Alisons reputation as a problem solver is well known within the unit and throughout police, with a recognised slogan in the FIU being: “keep calm… and ask Alison Barker”.