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19 Mar 2018 23:42
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    Southern Response 'fully' supports inquiry

    A government investigation into allegations of spying on earthquake victims by Southern Response will be supported by the company.

    The company allegedly responsible for breaches of integrity and conduct when settling Christchurch earthquake claims says it will fully support an inquiry.

    The State Services Commission announced on Wednesday it would investigate whether Southern Response and one of its security contractors may have breached standards, allegedly spying on claimants to gather information on them.

    A tip-off was received by Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Megan Woods regarding the company's use of private investigators that she referred to the commissioner for consideration.

    In written responses to NZ Newswire questions, Southern Response says information and communications about the four private investigation firms will be kept under wraps to protect privacy and issues of commercial confidentiality.

    When asked if Southern Response supported the State Services Commission inquiry, the answer was, "Yes, fully."

    State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said the most appropriate course of action was an inquiry.

    "The material I have seen raises questions around compliance with standards of integrity and conduct for state servants," he said.

    The terms of the inquiry would be announced by the end of next week.

    Southern Response was set up by the government following the Canterbury earthquake in 2011 to handle AMI insurance claims after the insurer didn't have enough money to cover its debt, forcing the government to assume control of the business.

    The company has been marred by controversy after a class action lawsuit was launched last year by almost 50 claimants who had yet to have their claims settled six years after the earthquake.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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