Paragraph grading indicators

Markings used to indicate the security classification of individual paragraphs.

Paragraph marking

Paragraph marking is the practice of marking the classification level of a section of information within a document, email, or dataset. This informs the user of which sections contain the information of highest classification and enables more appropriate sharing of information.


Partner refers to any individuals, groups, organisations, or governments where information is shared.

Perimeter Intrusion Detection System (PIDS)

A security alarm system, or part of a security alarm system, that covers areas external to a building envelope.

Personal Identity Verification (PIV)

The method(s) used to verify a person’s identity before being given access to facilities, information or assets. Normally, identity is verified using something a person has (for example, a pass), knows (for example, password) or is (for example, biometrics).

Personal information

Information or an opinion (including information forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion. For further details, see the Privacy Act 1988. Also see Sensitive personal information.

Personal Security File (PSF)

A file containing sensitive personal information used to make a decision on a person’s suitability to hold, and continue to hold, a security clearance. This includes details of any security infringements, breaches or violations by the person.

Personnel (employee or staff)

Any member of an agency’s staff (ongoing and non-ongoing), contracted service providers requiring access to protectively marked information or resources, or other people who provide services to the agency or access agency information or assets.

Personnel Security (PERSEC)

The management of personnel to assist in the protection of an agency’s people, information and assets. It includes the screening and ongoing education and evaluation of employees.

Physical asset

An item of economic, commercial or exchange value that has a tangible or material existence, including assets (for example, computers) that contain official information.

Physical Security (PHYSEC)

The part of protective security concerned with the provision and maintenance of a safe and secure environment for the protection of agency employees and clients as well as physical measures designed to prevent unauthorised access to official resources and to detect and respond to intruders.

Planned event

An event that allows relevant agencies sufficient lead time to consider, discuss and implement security arrangements. Also see Event.


The POLICY endorsement marking is used for material relating to proposals for new or changed government policy before publication.

Policy and privacy information

Information (usually protectively marked as SENSITIVE or IN CONFIDENCE) that deals with New Zealand government policy or information but does not warrant a higher security classification.

Politically motivated violence

Acts or threats of violence or unlawful harm that are intended or likely to achieve a political objective, whether in New Zealand or elsewhere, including acts or threats carried on for the purpose of influencing the policy or acts of government.

Portable Storage Device (PSD) (electronic information)

See Removable electronic and optical media.

Position of Trust (PoT)

A position where the duties require a higher level of assurance than normal agency employment screening provides and to which additional screening is specified.


A person’s ability to control the availability of information about them.

Privacy audit

An audit that examines personal information handling practices for a particular agency programme at a certain time and in a particular location.

Private client facilities

Facilities belonging to private industry clients that can be used by agency personnel to undertake agency work.

Procedural fairness

Procedural fairness is the right to expect that any decisions being taken about a person are taken by an unbiased decision maker, and are based on open and fair decision-making processes that allow that person the opportunity to respond to those decisions.

Protective marking

Protective marking is the practice of marking the information with its classification, endorsement markings, and compartmented markings (if applicable) such as within paragraphs, emails, documents, metadata, or systems to inform readers and users of their obligations for securely handling and protecting the information.

Protective security

An organised risk management system of defensive measures used to counter security threats instituted and maintained at all levels across an organisation to reduce the security risk to functions, official resources, assets (people, information, infrastructure, facilities) and services. Protective security should be proportionate to threats and operate in a way that supports business.

Protective security audit

An audit (or system of checking for compliance to predetermined standards) on the protective security arrangements in place in an agency.

Protective Security Manual (PSM)

The New Zealand Government Protective Security Manual was the precursor to the PSR.

Protective Security Requirements (PSR)

Protective Security Requirements (PSR) outlines the Government’s requirements for managing personnel, physical, and information security. The Classification System is a core foundation to the PSR. The PSR was approved by Cabinet in 2014 [CAB (14) 39/38].

Public domain information

Information that is authorised for unlimited public access and circulation (for example, agency publications or websites).