Statement from Bryan Wilson, Acting Director-General
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has uncovered evidence of potential serious staff misconduct relating to events that occurred some years ago. This involved several employees who no longer work for MPI.
The conduct was of a sufficiently serious nature that MPI has referred it to the State Services Commission (SSC) for consideration.
The misconduct was uncovered as part of the preparation of a response to an Official Information Act request for all correspondence between MPI employees and Thompson & Clark Investigations Ltd (TCIL).
We are working to assist the SSC inquiry and are conducting our own internal inquiry.
MPI entrusts its people with responsibilities that are bound by a number of legislative frameworks. Our behaviour as state sector employees is also guided by the SSC Code of Conduct and by the Privacy Act. We are extremely disappointed to learn that past employees of this organisation potentially breached our Code of Conduct, our trust, and by proxy the trust that was given to them by the New Zealanders that we serve.
In the last few years since these matters occurred, MPI has instituted a number of measures to reinforce our Code of Conduct and we will look at these systems to see if there are further improvements that we can make.
Because this matter is under investigation, MPI will make no further comment.