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Revelations in SOE Spy Scandal Deeply Disturbing

Latest Revelations in SOE Spy Scandal Deeply Disturbing

Press Release: Save Happy Valley Coalition

FOR IMMMEDIATE USE

The Save Happy Valley Coalition is deeply disturbed by the latest revelations in the SOE spy scandal. In today's Sunday Star Times, Andrew Gibson, owner of Gibson Security, is quoted as saying his firm stopped providing their services to Solid Energy in late 2006 over concerns about the unethical behaviour being engaged in, including the placing of a spy in the Christchurch Save Happy Valley group.

"Any sensible person would have taken this as a warning sign that their behaviour was deeply wrong, but Solid Energy CEO Don Elder clearly did not have ethics in mind," said Save Happy Valley Coalition spokesperson Frances Mountier, "The more we find out about what Elder has chosen to do, the more resolute we are in our demand that he resign immediately.

"Andrew Gibson has also confirmed that Thompson and Clark were using 'moles' and running the intelligence and security operations at defence industry and vivisection conferences in Wellington that corporate bodies knew would be subject to public scrutiny," said Ms Mountier.

"Like Solid Energy, the vivisectionist board ANZCCART (1) and the New Zealand Defence Industry Association have manipulated public debate by using informants to gather information on those opposing their practices. Vivisectors and the defence industry only survive by creating a shroud of secrecy over their operations. These industries need to be held to account; first they must provide full details of the use of an informant in these Wellington activist groups, and secondly, they must provide the information they have kept from the public," said Ms Mountier.

"The Save Happy Valley Coalition has seen Solid Energy's anxiety to keep their Stockton mine away from the public eye. However, this is a serious question of public accountability. The Minister of State Owned Enterprises must guarantee that Don Elder will resign. The Government must also provide assurances that no state-funded body will use public funds to send infiltrators into campaign organisations again," said Ms Mountier, "We are seeking an urgent meeting with Michael Cullen, the acting Minister of SOEs, this week where we will demand an explanation and assurances that this will never reoccur."


//ENDS


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