During the summer of 2011 it emerged that an audio surveillance device was discovered at the home of a New Zealand government minister.

This seems to have been a repeat of an incident in 2004, when a house that had been used as headquarters to a number of politicians was swept for bugs and one telephone was found to have been tampered with.

A sense of shock ran through the Wellington Parliament at the news. New Zealand’s politicians expect each other to play fair. Don Brash, a former leader of the opposition expressed surprised that a current minister would ever be the target of a bugging operation.

“We find it hard to believe people would be so sinister that they would bug ministerial offices, but we know it happens elsewhere, so maybe we are being naive.”

The sweeps were conducted by the New Zealand Government Communication Security Bureau staff, who never comment on record regarding security issues. However, as part of stepping up their security in the wake of bug discoveries and other incidents the New Zealand government has made it a matter of policy that no cellphones may be brought in to ministerial offices, regardless of whether they are turned on or off.