Our spies monitored email and internet traffic about international diplomats vying for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organisation - a job for which National Government Trade Minister Tim Groser was competing.
The spying operation was active in 2013 and called the "WTO Project" by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), according to a top secret document obtained by the Herald and United States news site The Intercept.
The operation involved covert surveillance of candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Jordan, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and South Korea.
Read the WTO document here
The GCSB tasking document which structured the search of internet traffic was designed to look for references to Mr Groser, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) role and his competitors, initially in any online communication but then narrowed to emails.