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Spy-related company to patrol DoC land

Spy-related company to patrol DoC land

Press Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition

22 April 2008

A security company led by spy master Gavin Clark will soon be patrolling a wide swathe of conservation land. The Department of Conservation has signalled it intends to grant, without public notification, permission for Provision Security Ltd to operate on 110 square kilometres of land near Westport, including popular day walks. Gavin Clark, of Thompson & Clark, is also a director of Provision. Clark has has made attempts on two occasions to employ spy's to infiltrate Save Happy Valley Coalition, an environmental activist group.

"These guys have chased us around illegally on conservation land before – complete with loud hailers and video cameras. DoC agreed that there was a prima facie case against the company, but declined to prosecute," says Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Alan Liefting. "The Save Happy Valley Coalition has been fighting to save the area from state-owned enterprise Solid Energy, which plans to turn the valley into a giant open cast coal mine, destroying kiwi habitat and a nationally significant wetland."

"Now we've found out that they want to be able to harass any members of the public who visit a large area of conservation land, including the old Brittania Mine, Denniston mining relics, and the Charming Creek Walkway. When you're having dinner outside your tent, and black booted security guards burst from the bushes, camera rolling, and try to hand you a pre-emptive trespass notice, that's not a minor effect!"

"The Department of Conservation should defend the public's right to quiet enjoyment of the conservation estate; these Orwellian tactics have no place in New Zealand society."


ENDS

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