(NZ) Ombudsman forces release of defence spending on spy software | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

(NZ) Ombudsman forces release of defence spending on spy software

After a year of wrangling the New Zealand Defence Force has been forced to reveal how much it pays for software from Peter Thiel's secretive firm Palantir.

Contrarian billionaire Thiel founded the firm in 2004 and is its largest individual shareholder and chairman. He was controversially granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011 despite having only visited the country for 12 days in five years period - 1 per cent of the usual number of days required.

Palantir - named after the scrying and communication orbs used by villain Sauron in Lord of the Rings - specialises in big data analysis, with its principle clients being intelligence agencies in the Five Eyes alliance - Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

This month the firm won a billion-dollar contract to provide software to the United States Army, and the company has in recent years sought to expand its client base beyond the western military and spy community to include police forces, immigration enforcement agencies and Wall Street.