Thompson & Clark cleared over Southern Response surveillance - police

Southern Response - Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Police have decided private investigators Thompson & Clark did not break the law when they secretly recorded a private meeting of quake claimants.

The controversial surveillance firm was hired by the Crown's claims settlement agency for the Christchurch earthquakes, Southern Response, to monitor the activities of claimants who it accused of threatening its staff.

A State Services Commission report found Southern Response and other agencies had broken their own codes of conduct through their inappropriate use of the firm.

Southern Response's chair resigned over the report, which recommended police investigate potentially illegal activity by Thompson & Clark on its behalf.

However, police today found the unlicensed private investigator had done nothing wrong.

They said the phone he used to record the meeting was in plain view, those at the meeting had no right to expect it would be held in private and the man did not use any fictitious identity.