Another private detective has come forward saying he is being paid by the Exclusive Brethren to spy on Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Former detective sergeant Lew Proctor claimed he hired Dunedin private investigator Wayne Idour who has admitted being employed by the religious sect to tail Miss Clark and her husband Peter Davis.
Mr Proctor told the Herald on Sunday he and others hired by him had evaded the Diplomatic Protection Squad to follow a high-profile figure for four weeks.
He would not name Miss Clark as the object of his investigation, but when it was pointed out that she was the only person with full-time police protection, and asked if she was the target, he said: “Well, that might be the case.”
He described the protection officers as “lazy” and said: “Certain members of certain police squads can’t do their jobs. I’m amazed how members of the DPS wouldn’t have been able to tell they had perhaps been followed.”
The Herald said that when it told Miss Clark’s office about the latest revelations, a spokesman responded: “This is close to blackmail. It’s a new low in New Zealand politics for people or groups to hire private investigators to follow their political opponents.”
The spokesman added the prime minister would go to the police if there was any hint of criminal activity in the actions of the investigators.
The leader of the Exclusive Brethren in New Zealand Greg Mason denied the church’s involvement in hiring of private investigators and distanced the body from the actions of individual members.
“I’ve never heard of Lew Proctor. I never had anything to do with hiring any private detectives or any PIs or whatever you call them,” he told the Herald.
“…whatever that man says, is false in that he would not have been hired by the Exclusive Brethren. The Exclusive Brethren do not engage in this sort of activity.”
Mr Proctor told the newspaper he hired Mr Idour because “most of the other people in Auckland would have done work for the Labour Party…so we couldn’t have used them even if we wanted to”.
Proctor said the investigation was still under way, and the final pieces of information were arriving on Wednesday. He said the public would then see “the reason why members of a certain party are just little wee bit upset…about these private investigators who have been let loose on them”.