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Maritime Union to pursue further action over spy

Maritime Union of New Zealand media release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 22 December 2008

The Maritime Union is looking at further action in the police spy scandal following discussions by national officials today.

Emails released to the media last week revealed how a paid police informer was providing information to the Special Investigations Group (SIG) of the New Zealand Police on legitimate organizations including the Maritime Union.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says these actions discriminate against union members and have damaged the reputation of the Union, as well as intruding on privacy.

"These actions indicate a clearly partisan political agenda within the New Zealand Police aimed at attacking workers organizations, and we need to know just what controls are in place to protect our hard won democratic rights."

He says after careful consideration the Union would not take industrial action over the holiday period as it could disrupt the travelling public, especially on the Cook Strait ferries.

"Enough harm has already been done in this travesty of democracy, however the Union is taking this matter extremely seriously and will be looking at all avenues to achieve an inquiry and an apology."

Mr Hanson says the Union received legal advice today and would be following up in the New Year, and wanted to find out exactly what information was held by police on the Union.

He says the weak response of the Government has been disturbing, and if the Police had nothing to hide, they would not object to a commission of inquiry into the actions of the SIG.

"This is a case of who watches the watchers – some major boundaries have been crossed here, and action needs to be taken to ensure we are not developing a political police force with its own agenda."


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