College of Humanities and Social Sciences staff

Dr Rhys Ball staff profile picture

Contact details +64 (09) 414 0800  ext. 43181

Dr Rhys Ball

Lecturer in Security Studies

Centre for Defence and Security Studies

In the world of national security, intelligence is a growing area of study and career options.  It can be an attractive and rewarding field, but often information about the discipline is not entirely accurate or skewed by misperceptions of the world of intelligence and security often incorrectly portrayed in films and television.  Intelligence work in New Zealand can be a fantastically dynamic and attractive field of study as well as a particularly rewarding career.   

Having spent a number of years as an intelligence officer, Rhys Ball is now applying his teaching and research interests as a lecturer in defence and security studies.   Rhys says his papers examine current New Zealand and global security risks, the gathering and analysis of intelligence, the history of military and security intelligence and critical analysis of intelligence in investigations and detection.  His research interests include intelligence studies and intelligence history, strategic studies and military history, in particular Special Forces history. Rhys has lived and worked in Wellington, London, Washington, Canberra and Dar el Salaam (Tanzania), before moving to Palmerston North.  

Commenting frequently in the media on current issues regarding security and intelligence, Rhys is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals (NZIIP) and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO).  He enjoys contact with students including those he supervises in the Centre’s New Zealand Internship programme who undertake a real-world research project whilst being placed with a security agency.  Rhys is also the Undergraduate Coordinator at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies.

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Professional

Contact details

  • Ph: 09 213 6181 (extn 43181)
    Location: AT2.49a, Atrium Tower Building
    Campus: Albany

Research Expertise

Research Interests

New Zealand Special Forces History

New Zealand Special Operations Forces History/Policy

New Zealand during the Cold War

New Zealand Defence Policy during the Cold War

New Zealand Military Training/Advisors commitments offshore – past, present and future

New Zealand Intelligence and Security History

Intelligence and Security Studies

Future of Intelligence Policy in New Zealand

Future of Intelligence Operations in New Zealand

New Zealand Counter-Terrorism History

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship, Resource Development and Management, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Defence Studies (160604):
Historical Studies (210300): History And Archaeology (210000):
International Relations (160607):
New Zealand History (210311):
Political Science (160600): Studies In Human Society (160000)

Keywords

New Zealand Special Forces History

Intelligence and Security History

 Intelligence and Security Studies

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 0 1

Research Outputs

Journal

Colarik, AM., & Ball, R. (2016). Anonymous Versus ISIS: The Role of Non-state Actors in Self-defense. Global Security and Intelligence Studies. 2(1), 20-32 Retrieved from http://www.ipsonet.org/
[Journal article]Authored by: Ball, R., Colarik, A.
Ball, R. (2016). A Spy's Son: The True Story of the Highest Ranking CIA Officer Ever Convicted of Espionage and the Son He Trained to Spy for Russia. New Zealand International Review. 41(2), 29-30
[Book Review]Authored by: Ball, R.
Ball, R. (2011). The strategic utility of New Zealand Special Forces. Small Wars and Insurgencies. 22(1), 119-141
[Journal article]Authored by: Ball, R.

Book

Ball, R.(2017). New challenges require a rethink of security.
[Discussion Paper]Authored by: Ball, R.
Ball, R., & Bradley, C. (2017). Anzac: A nation's creation story. In T. Cain, E. Kahu, & RH. Shaw (Eds.) Turangawaewae: Identity and Belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 249 - 267). Palmerston North, New Zealand: Massey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Ball, R.Edited by: Shaw, R.
Wharton, M., & Ball, R. (2017). New Zealand special operations forces: Subtle and strategic effect in the whole-of-government approach to New Zealand's national security. In W. Hoverd, N. Nelson, & C. Bradley (Eds.) New Zealand National Security: Challenges, Trends and Issues. (pp. 220 - 233). Auckland: Massey University Press
[Chapter]Authored by: Ball, R.

Conference

Ball, R. (2017, July). New Zealand special operations forces & national security: Thinking about democracy and deployment. Presented at International Political Science Association (IPSA) Annual Conference: Redefining the role of the Military in Democratization. Christchurch, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ball, R.
Ball, R. (2016, July). What is Intelligence? What Makes an Intelligence Professional. Presented at New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals (NZIIP) 2016 Conference. Amora Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ball, R.
Ball, R.Size matters: The evolution and future of the special operations command New Zealand (SOCNZ). . Alexandria, Virginia, United States of America (USA)
[Conference Paper]Authored by: Ball, R.
Colarik, AM., & Ball, R. (2016). The security codex - mapping a research domain. In A. Gomez Chova, A. Lopez Martinez, & I. Candel Torres (Eds.) Proceedings 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. (pp. 7551 - 7560). : 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED2016)
[Conference Paper in Published Proceedings]Authored by: Ball, R., Colarik, A.
Colarik, A., & Ball, R. (2016, March). The security codex - mapping a research domain. Presented at 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED2016). Valencia, Spain.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Ball, R., Colarik, A.
Hopner, V., Nelson, N., Hodgetts, DJ., Chamberlain, K., & Ball, R. (2015). ISIS and the psychology of terror. In NZDC The Fifth New Zealand Discourse Conference Abstract Book(pp. 50 - 50). , The Fifth New Zealand Discourse Conference (NZDC5) Auckland, New Zealand: Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, AUT University
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Ball, R., Chamberlain, K., Hodgetts, D., Hopner, V., Nelson, N.

Other

Ball, R. (2017). Book review: Relentless strike: The secret history of joint special operations command (Author: Sean Naylor, Published by St. Martin's Press, New York, 2015). (pp. 30 - 31). New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
[Other]Authored by: Ball, R.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
Supervisor 1 0

Media and Links

Media

  • 30 Nov 2014 - Online, Radio
    Interview with Radio New Zealand
    Security Issues: "Muslim community says it's unfairly targeted by terror bill"
  • 30 Nov 2014 - Radio, Online
    Interview with Radio New Zealand
    Intelligence Issues: "Former intelligence officer says terror bill 'proactive'"
  • 30 Nov 2014 - Radio, Online
    Radio NZ Interview 'Sunday with Wallace Chapman'
    Intelligence Issues:"Former intelligence officer says terror bill 'proactive'"
  • 29 Jan 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with Dominion Post
    Security Issues: "New Zealand passports targeted by criminals, terrorists"
  • 29 Apr 2013 - Newspaper, Online
    Opinion Piece - Dominion Post Newspaper
    Intelligence Commentary - "Yes to spies but the watchers do need watching"
  • 28 Jun 2013 - Newspaper, Online
    Newspaper Opinion Piece - 'New Zealand Herald'
    Intelligence Issues:"Spy-law changes are a necessary benefit"
  • 27 Jun 2013 - Online, Newspaper
    Interview with Fairfax - 'Southland Times'
    Security Issues:"Cyber-attacks on NZ 'rising'
  • 27 Jun 2013 - Radio
    Radio Interview with RDU 98.5FM
    The Wire - with Spanky Moore "Intelligence Issues in New Zealand"
  • 25 Sep 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues: "Terror attacks in New Zealand 'may manifest' as vigilance continues, ex-SIS officer says"
  • 25 Oct 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with Sunday Star Times
    Intelligence Issues:"Spy-fighting tool helps defence staff spot foreign agents"
  • 25 Mar 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Dominion Post Op-Ed with Andrew Colarik
    Intelligence Issues:"Review to cast light on high value of NZ intelligence networks"
  • 25 Aug 2016 - Online
    Interview with German Online Newspaper 'Spiegel'
    Security Issues:"Kim Dotcom soap opera plays on in New Zealand as US extradition goes to appeal"
  • 24 Apr 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues:"Five Eyes meeting ‘shows NZ pulling its weight,’ former SIS officer"
  • 23 Oct 2016 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues:"Key 'not going to walk away' from defending NZ against terror"
  • 23 Oct 2014 - Online, Newspaper
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues:"Key 'not going to walk away' from defending NZ against terror"
  • 21 Nov 2014 - Online, Newspaper
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues: "Simple 'grassroots' terror attacks could threaten New Zealand, experts warn"
  • 21 Nov 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues: "‘Jandalled jihadis’ a growing threat in NZ"
  • 21 Feb 2014 - Online, Radio
    Interview withRadio NZ - 'Nine to Noon'
    Intelligence Issues:"GCSB misreporting"
  • 21 Feb 2014 - Radio, Online
    Interview with Radio New Zealand
    Intelligence Issues: "Call for more detail on GCSB bungle"
  • 21 Apr 2017 - Television, Online
    Television Interview with NewsHub 'The Project'
    Intelligence Issues:"New Zealand should ‘think again’ on Five Eyes spy network – Nicky Hager"
  • 21 Apr 2017 - Radio, Online
    Radio Interview with Newstalk ZB
    Intelligence Issues:"Whistle-blowers on agenda at Five Eyes gathering in Queenstown"
  • 21 Apr 2014 - Television
    Television Interview 'Native Affairs'
    Military History: "The Veteran - Native Affairs"
  • 19 Sep 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues: "Intel agencies are law-abiding but need to talk to public more – ex GCSB staffer"
  • 19 Sep 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues: "Key’s politicisation of intelligence worrying, ex-GCSB officer"
  • 19 Sep 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues: "Balancing security with freedom a key issue for companies"
  • 19 Sep 2014 - Newspaper
    Interview with National Business Review
    Interview with National Business Review on Friday 19 September “Intel Agencies are Law Abiding But Need to Talk With Public More – ex-GCSB Staffer”
  • 19 May 2017 - Online
    Newspaper Interview with Reuters
    Intelligence Issues:"Spy agencies from ‘Five eyes’ gather in New Zealand: PM, sources"
  • 17 Mar 2017 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues:"Massive CIA leak exposes danger of contractors"
  • 16 Dec 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business review
    Security Issues:"After Sydney hostage drama, experts warn against being 'suckered into overreacting'"
  • 16 Apr 2013 - Online
    Massey University Release
    Opinion Piece: "Defence specialist backs GCSB law change"
  • 12 Mar 2014 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with Fairfax Media
    Security Issues:"VIPs bring big security planning"
  • 12 Mar 2014 - Radio, Online
    Interview Comments With Radio New Zealand
    Intelligence -Comment on GCSB being helped by NSA in shaping NZ law
  • 12 Mar 2014 - Radio, Online
    Radio New Zealand Interview
    Intelligence Issues: "GCSB dismisses whistleblower claims"
  • 12 Apr 2015 - Radio
    Radio NZ Panel Discussion
    Intelligence Issues:"Spying on ourselves - A panel discussion with former Green MP Keith Locke and Kathleen Kuehn is a Victoria University
  • 07 May 2013 - Radio, Online
    Interview with Radio New Zealand
    Intelligence Issues:"Spy Bill to be debated this week"
  • 06 Sep 2015 - Radio, Online
    Interview with Radio New Zealand
    Intelligence Issues:"SIS publicises security breach case studies"
  • 06 Sep 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview ith Dominion Post
    Intelligence Issues:"Foreign spies wine, dine and bug Kiwi diplomats"
  • 06 Nov 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Security Issues:"NZ security threats 'changing dramatically,' Key says"
  • 06 Mar 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues:"'Some hassle' to NZ business following GCSB spying"
  • 04 Jun 2015 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with National Business Review
    Intelligence Issues:"New spy bill won’t hurt GCSB collection"
  • 04 Aug 2013 - Radio, Online
    Interview With Radio NZ - 'Ideas for 4'
    Intelligence Issues:"Former SIS officer turned academic Dr Rhys Ball talks to Chris Laidlaw about the pros and cons of the state spying on its citizens
  • 03 Aug 2013 - Newspaper, Online
    Interview with Dominion Post
    Intelligence Issues:"Kiwis seek reassurance on state surveillance"

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