Intelligence Officer Āpiha Matataua

Intelligence officers collect and analyse information on people, places and events that may be a threat to businesses or national and international security.

Intelligence officers may do some or all of the following:

  • collect, analyse, decode and assess information that may be a threat to business, national and international security
  • analyse data and make predictions
  • assess data to find criminal behaviour or solve crimes
  • analyse images and create maps
  • assess people for employment and entrance to New Zealand
  • co-operate with agencies nationally and internationally to gather information about potential threats
  • manage investigations into specific threats
  • monitor people and events
  • provide reports to government and provide advice on how to manage threats
  • protect information and intelligence.

Physical Requirements

Intelligence officers need to have good hearing and eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and have normal colour vision.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for intelligence officers includes:

  • research and analysing data experience
  • information technology experience
  • work for NZ Defence Force or NZ Police
  • language studies.

Personal Qualities

Intelligence officers need to be:

  • persuasive and analytical
  • mature, with good judgement and initiative
  • flexible and resilient
  • calm in stressful situations
  • careful and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • good at communicating with a wide range of people
  • good problem solvers
  • patient and discreet.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for intelligence officers includes:

  • research and analysing data experience
  • information technology experience
  • work for NZ Defence Force or NZ Police
  • language studies.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training for most intelligence officers. Useful subjects include maths, digital technologies, English, geography, history and classical studies, languages and science.

NCEA Level 2 is required to train as an intelligence operator or intelligence specialist in the NZ Defence Force. Intelligence specialists need 12 credits in NCEA Level 2 science.

Intelligence Officers can earn around $39K-$50K per year per year.

Intelligence officers may move into management roles or military officer ranks.

Intelligence officers may specialise in:

  • communications 
  • cryptanalysis (decoding)
  • cryptomathematics (decoding numbers)
  • liaison (building and managing relationships)
  • planning
  • vetting (approval of people for events, visits and employment)
  • screening (checking people or information)
  • surveillance (monitoring people, events or information).

NZ Defence Force specialisations

Intelligence officers in the NZ Defence Force can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Electronic Warfare Specialist
Electronic warfare specialists are responsible for any aircraft protection systems and equipment fitted to aircraft belonging to the NZ Air Force.
Geospatial Specialist
Geospatial specialists produce maps and charts to support the functions of the NZ Air Force.
Image Analyst
Image analysts use and analyse the output of video, radar, infrared and other imagery to support the functions of the NZ Air Force.
Intelligence Operator
Intelligence operators decode and analyse information and make predictions to support the functions of the NZ Army.
Intelligence Officer

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