Police spying must be investigated

Rochelle stands up for what she believes in, the last thing she expected was that her activism would lead her here. Worried. Scared. Searching for the truth. Help make sure she gets it.

The evidence is mounting that over the last decade police and private investigator firm Thompson and Clark have been involved in increasingly sinister activities directed at activists, including surveillance and spying.

If true, this would be a serious blow to freedom of expression and assembly in New Zealand. It would damage the ability for people like us to safely speak out, a crucial part of a healthy democracy.

Recently investigative journalists Paula Penfold and Eugene Bingham released allegations that Thompson and Clark have a direct relationship with the New Zealand police that includes worrying conduct involving spying on activists.

This might be starting to sound like a story from an authoritarian country, that’s what I thought this morning when I read the allegations. It's shocking that the police have seemingly been working to undermine political protest, to disrupt community organising and to dampen the effectiveness of democratic change. This is huge.

We rely on the police to keep us safe and be impartial. Until an inquiry happens, how can New Zealanders know what the police have been up to?

But, there is a way we can make this happen. We know the Government is currently looking into the alarming relationships between private spy firm Thompson and Clark and Government agencies. But, this inquiry doesn’t currently include the police. Together we can ensure it does.

You’ve done this before. Last year, after serious allegations revealed that the New Zealand Defence Force may have seriously breached people’s human rights, thousands of you asked for an inquiry. And you won, an inquiry is happening.

Now again, an organisation that is meant to keep New Zealanders safe may have totally overstepped. Together we can ensure that we get the truth. Sign the petition and demand that the inquiry is broadened to include the police and these most recent allegations.