NZ Govt Paid Private Investigators to Spy on Quake Victims
8 March, 2018
A Newshub investigation found government insurance company Southern Response had employed private investigators Thompson and Clarke to spy on claimants.
Christchurch local Mark Preston was one of the key targets of the spying operation, after he sent a high volume of emails to the insurer in a bid to get his home repaired.
Southern Response then referred the case to the police, saying they believed there was a risk of an “Ashburton WINZ-type situation”—referring to a shooter. Preston told Newshub he was targeted for helping organise a group of claimants taking a legal case against Southern Response.
"I'm stuck in an earthquake-damaged home with a family that wants to move on with their lives, and when your insurance company doesn't respond to you, there's actually nothing else you can do," he says. "That was really only my ever crime—educating people, organising for a class action."
EQC considering legal action against Fletcher Construction
EQC CEO Sid Miller says the agency is currently defending 316 legal cases over the Christchurch earthquakes, and is considering legal action against Fletcher Construction for its project management of the repairs.