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Public servants should ask before they snoop

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The Government needs to set clearer expectations about acceptable methods of investigation for public servants.

This week the Herald revealed that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has spent $112,000 hiring a security firm to teach staff how to use fake social media profiles to gather intelligence.

The document outlining the contract was posted on MBIE's website on the day State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes released a report which showed government agencies including MBIE had used private investigators Thompson and Clark to secretly record insurance claimants and spy on protesters - a decision described by Hughes as "an affront to democracy".

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has promised senior ministers will be briefed on the MBIE course, saying New Zealanders........

© New Zealand Herald