John Key announced his New Cabinet today, and in addition to the expected shuffling, there's also a surprise: a new Minister for National Security and Intelligence, seperate from the GCSB and SIS roles. The official excuse is that this mirrors arrangements in Australia and the UK - which is rather chilling when you think about the direction of their spy-policy, and two of the worst countries we could choose to emulate - and because of "changes" in our spy agencies (otherwise known as the metastasis of DPMC, which is consuming everything). But the real reason is to be found in the outline of portfolio responsibilities:
Parliamentary questions and Official Information Act requests will be dealt with by the appropriate Minister.
Key has created a whole new Ministerial position so he can retain control of the spies, while no longer having to answer questions about them (something which has exposed him in the last two years). And if any dirt emerges from the Snowden leaks, the new Minister (Chris Finlayson) gets to be scapegoat, while Key gets to walk away from the agencies he was supposed to be overseeing.