The Commissioner of the New Zealand Police, Mike Bush and Europol’s Executive Director, Catherine De Bolle, have signed a Working Arrangement and Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday in The Hague will allow the New Zealand Police to deploy a permanent liaison officer to Europol’s headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. The system of liaison officers at Europol ensures that the interests of law enforcement agencies in the EU Member States and non-EU partners, such as New Zealand, are represented at Europol.
The Memorandum of Understanding will also enable New Zealand Police to use SIENA - the Secure Information Exchange Network Application, managed by Europol. SIENA enables a swift and secure communication and exchange of operational and strategic crime-related information and intelligence. SIENA, as an operative instrument allows law enforcement authorities to collaborate effectively on a daily basis. Over the course of 2017, more than one million SIENA messages were exchanged among Europol, EU Member States and third parties. The possibility to share safely information among close to 1,200 competent national authorities from almost 50 countries and many international partners such as INTERPOL has shown its importance in fighting serious and organised international crime.
In April 2019, Europol and the New Zealand Police already signed a working arrangement, which established a framework for cooperation and allowed to enhance strategic cooperation. Europol sees strong potential for the cooperation with New Zealand in many areas, including on online child sexual exploitation, Organised Motorcycle Gangs and drug trafficking. Furthermore, the heinous attacks in Christchurch have shown the importance of increasing international cooperation also in the area of counter terrorism.