A second report released by Police yesterday shows that the previous National Government established a secret intelligence group involving oil and gas companies, Thompson and Clark, and state departments including the NZ Defence Force, Police and MBIE to protect the interests of the oil and gas industry.
“At the time, Simon Bridges was the Minister for Economic Development in charge of driving the Government’s oil exploration agenda and his department MBIE was part of a group that sought to spy on environmental groups, iwi and local communities that dared to speak up against dangerous oil and gas.
“Simon Bridges said he didn’t direct the public servants to do anything. It is pretty hard to fathom that he had no idea what his Department was doing.
“It’s pretty clear that the National Party is beholden to big oil and gas. To use Government resources to protect the dangerous sector and spy on our community is deeply concerning.
“It shows the previous Government was complicit in collusion between oil and gas companies and public officials whose job it is to regulate those industries, not prop them up at all costs.
“Worse still, it shows that military grade resources and intelligence were offered up to oil and gas companies by the Government in their pursuit of fossil fuels against the wishes of local communities.
“We now have a very serious problem and very serious questions that Simon Bridges has to answer.
“We must see the end of the Mineral Exploration Joint Intelligence Group and Simon Bridges must be own up to his involvement”.