A private investigation company, Thompson & Clark Investigations, employed agents to infiltrate environmental, peace and animal rights groups in New Zealand, investigative journalist Nicky Hager has revealed. One of the company's clients was the government-owned coal company Solid Energy. A student was paid NZ$400 a month to infiltrate and report on the activities of Save Happy Valley, a group opposing a new coal mine. One task was to provide information on the group's legal strategies in response to being sued by Solid Energy over a spoof corporate social responsibility report. The Chief Executive Officer of Solid Energy, Don Elder, is unapologetic: "What do I think about it? So what? If Thompson & Clark had got someone to do the things you've said, then I would say good on them." The State-Owned Enterprises minister, Trevor Mallard, told Solid Energy that the spying operation is "unacceptable." However, Solid Energy has only said that it will consider the issue at its next board meeting.
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