I believe the inquiry into crown agencies employing private investigator’s Thompson and Clark is an adequate start but a lot more needs to be done. There is just so much we don’t know.
For a start the inquiry absolves state sector chief executives which I have great difficulty taking seriously. Is the State Services Commission telling me that low level civil servants would employ an organisation to spy and not tell the boss?
I believe that’s stretching credibility.
Then under the no surprises policy would that chief executive not tell their Minister, especially over something so delicate as oil exploration.
I don’t believe it. For example when NZ First Leader, Winston Peter’s superannuation was overpaid both chief executives and ministers were well aware of it. Am I being asked to accept that superannuation mistakes and that is all it was are more worthy of chief executives and ministers being told than the state sector being involved in spying on Kiwi’s. More importantly spying on Kiwi’s who were doing nothing wrong.
Thompson and Clark aren’t strangers to controversy as witnessed by the Solid Energy circus that received considerable publicity back in 2007. Is the State Services Commission suggesting that public servants weren’t aware of that and just continued in a cavalier fashion.
Back then the State Services Commissioner warned government department’s against using information covertly gathered by third parties.
Is the Commissioner’s instruction just ignored by the state sector? Whether it is or isn’t raises major questions about the state of our democracy.
That the power of our state is omnipotent, or to use Dr Russell Norman’s words ‘Stasi like’ is witnessed by the fact that Crown Law paid private investigators to spy on two brothers who were seeking damages from government after being abused in state care as they had every right to do.
Is anyone suggesting to me that Crown Law, the government’s lawyer didn’t know that was wrong and didn’t tell their chief executive or Minister. The fact that MSD knew as well makes it more interesting. Are they suggesting to me they’d tell their CEO and Minister about a superannuation over payment and not a case of state inspired spying.
Why would Crown Law use private investigators in such a fashion if they weren’t instructed to win at all costs and that would have to come from the top and that’s chief executives and Ministers.
Is Crown Law then suggesting that they wouldn’t keep those people informed.
Of more concern in the NZSIS dealings with Thompson and Clark.
The major hole in the investigation however is the position of the Police.
We know for example that four Police officers worked for the Police and Thompson and Clark at the same time. Ethics aside we were told that there was ‘no evidence of corrupt behaviour’. I’d like a second reputable opinion on that.
Further have the Police used private investigators? It would be a handy way of getting around issues like evidence based search warrants.
I want a lot more openness on who knew what and when plus an investigation into the Police use of private investigators. After all a complaint had been made to the Police do we expect a full, frank and honest investigation into that complaint?
Sadly I don’t believe that will happen and I don’t believe state sector bosses and relevant ministers didn’t know exactly what was going on and when.
The New Zealand public has a right to know. To refuse that is an infinitely greater effront to democracy than what’s in the current report.