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National Says Solid Energy Should Explain

Solid Energy should explain

Taxpayers need to be reassured that their money is not being used to infiltrate protest groups, as has been claimed today, says National’s State-Owned Enterprises spokesman, Gerry Brownlee.

He is commenting on a report that government-owned Solid Energy has hired a private investigation firm to pay agents to infiltrate and spy on an environment group opposed to its plans for an open-cast coal mine on the West Coast.

“There is no doubt there are serious tensions between the protesters and Solid Energy over the development at Pike River.

“Those protestors have already cost taxpayers millions of dollars over spurious claims concerning supposedly endangered snails, and those costs are escalating by the day as more snails are discovered.

“But Solid Energy should be careful how it responds.

“Why can’t they tell taxpayers whether or not they are spending money for people to infiltrate the protest group?

“We need an explanation, not simply for Solid Energy to say it is unconcerned about the claims.

“They are accountable to taxpayers and need to explain.”

Ends

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