Revealed: The email the PM sent ordering an end to Thompson & Clark's spying

Newshub has obtained the email sent by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office to all Ministers, asking them to check their departments are not using private investigators to spy on individuals.

An investigation from Newshub found Government insurance company Southern Response used Thompson & Clark to spy to Christchurch earthquake victims.

The email sent on 15 March asks Ministers to check for two "key things" if Ministers' departments are found to be using the private investigators:

  • That the firm is not doing anything illegal.
  • That their activities "are not likely to be perceived by the public to be unjustifiably interfering with individuals' rights to privacy."
The email about Thompson & Clark
The email about Thompson & Clark Photo credit: Newshub.

The State Service's Commission announced an inquiry into Southern Response's use of Thompson & Clark after the story broke in March.

In late April, the inquiry was extended to include the relationship between the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) and Thompson & Clark.

The relationship between the department and Thompson & Clark has come under scrutiny after the security firm were employed by oil companies to obtain information on Greenpeace activists. The oil companies passed information gathered on to MBIE.


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