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Spies must be uncovered

11 October 2006

Spies must be uncovered

The Department of Conservation must immediately investigate the legality of hidden camera equipment being used to spy on Save Happy Valley Coalition protestors, the Green Party says.

Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei says action should be taken against those who set up the equipment on public land near the start of the track to the protestors' camp.

Earlier this year private investigators hired by Solid Energy were found around the camp.

"While it is not ok for private investigators to be spying on the Prime Minister and her husband, it is equally not ok for the lives of private citizens to be pried into."

The Save Happy Valley Coalition discovered several thousand dollars worth of spying equipment, including a camera with 27x optical zoom, over one hundred metres of cable, a hard drive and four dry cell batteries, hidden in bush. Those viewing the video footage would have been able to identify, in detail, every single person who joined and left the camp.

"This kind of underhanded, 'Big Brother' action is just not acceptable and those responsible must be held to account."

Mrs Turei, who spent a week at the camp earlier this year, says the coalition is undertaking a legal and peaceful protest on public land.

ENDS

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