Journalist Nicky Hager says documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal the Government was plotting to spy on the Chinese consulate in Auckland.
The leaked American National Security Agency report includes a paper titled, ‘New Zealand: Joint effort to exploit Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs link.’
Another paper highlights a data link between the Chinese consulate and the Chinese Visa Office, both in Auckland.
It states the Government Communications and Security Bureau will provide the NSA with additional technical data about the link.
Mr Hager said the documents showed New Zealand was getting ready to tap into the link and spy on the China’s internal communications, which was illegal.
He said it was unclear if the spying was actually carried out because the leaked documents were from the planning phase.
Mr Hager said the world would not work without the laws protecting consular buildings.
The Prime Minister’s office said the Government would not be responding to the disclosures.
It said the documents were stolen by Edward Snowden and could be out of date or fabricated.