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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

NZ SIS "Spy Studio" Building Coming Down:

The old SIS Building - until recently occupied by Munki Studios is about to be demolished in a few months time.

National Radio today Wednesday interviewed the Munki Studio owner Mike Gibson about the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) Building located on Taranaki Street corner with Martin Square (65), Wellington.

Mike Gibson Pictured in his Recording Studio.

This building, complete with its own 'Armoury', went-up in 1948 - constructed next door to Govt. Defence buildings - and a lot of "Military Specification" concrete went into its construction. The New Zealand SIS moved in in 1969 staying until 1980. - The feeling is that protest marches held outside were found to be 'too close to home' prompting the spies to relocate.

There was a hidden "white door" that is said to have been used for receiving covert stores for the SIS from army trucks.

- There is said to be a network of tunnels connecting covertly with other Govt. properties - including a 'rifle range' two floors underground in the next-door building (now demolished). - Mike Gibson says there is a tunnel entrance from the basement but it is blocked with rubble.

The 'Spy Building' is characterised by pokey rooms with the floors covered with 'Govt. Issue' lino. - there are security glass windows between the rooms and the window frames have at one time been fitted with microphones.

The NZ Security Intelligence Service was established in 1956  as a civilian organisation during the Cold War to spy on left-wing anti-government activities within New Zealand and has frequently drawn 'Bad Press' due to its indiscrete activities - not least of which was an operatives brief-case being left on a journalists fence in 1981 and found to contain three cold meat pies, a 'Penthouse' Magazine, and notes taken of a meeting!

Rebecca Kitteridge - Current Director of NZ SIS.

The same year that the SIS was formed - the NZ SAS and the 'Combined Signals Organisation' (Now GCSB external spy network) were also founded.

NZ SIS Seal.

So - a historic and significant building is soon to disappear for ever - taking many secrets with it - If only walls could talk there might be some great stories.

Marty K.