Exclusive: Inquiry finds Thompson and Clark spies snooped on earthquake victims

An official inquiry to be officially released on Tuesday will find that private spies have snooped on ordinary Kiwis on behalf of the Government.

Newshub understands the State Services Commission (SSC) has found private investigators Thompson and Clark sent an undercover operative in to monitor victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

The work was paid for by Southern Response, a Government-owned insurer.

Newshub understands the inquiry found:

  • A contractor for Thompson and Clark attended five meetings where people were discussing legal action against Southern Response
  • The inquiry views three of these meetings as private/closed
  • The contractor took notes and recordings were at these private/closed meetings
  • The contractor says he/she thought these meetings were public, and was only looking for threats against Southern Response staff.

The Southern Response issue is just one part of the inquiry - it assesses the use of Thompson and Clark right across the Government sector, and is one of the biggest inquiries the SSC has ever done.

Thompson and Clark says it hasn't seen a final copy of the report yet, but has cooperated fully with the SSC as they have carried out the inquiry.

The organisation added it's always strived to operate within rules and regulations of the industry and laws of New Zealand.