Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Taranaki Oil & Gas Security Group

When the police released their report on their relationship with Thompson and Clark Investigations back in December, it contained an interesting revelation: two bodies associated with the oil industry, TOGs (Taranaki Oil & Gas Security Group) and MEJIG (Minerals Exploration Joint Intelligence Group) were actually established by government bodies or had government participants. I sent off some OIA requests, and I now have the first of them, from the police on TOGs, back. I had asked for a list of meetings attendees, and agendas. The police responded with TOGs' terms of reference (which included a membership list) and assorted meeting agendas, though its not clear if the latter are complete (police record-keeping being what it is). The identities of all non-police participants were redacted for privacy. The documents have been uploaded to DocumentCloud:

It is unclear whether the group continued to meet after September 2015, or whether the police simply don't have minutes.

Since the request was simply a preliminary one for dates and agendas, there's not a lot there, but there's already a few followups which people could make. For example, the "Crime Prevention Partnership Forum" mentioned in the December 2014 meeting sounds interesting, and might reveal more of these secret public-private intelligence-sharing groups. maritime NZ appears to have attended at least once, so they might have further information. Most amusingly, its shown that the police's whitewash report into TCIL couldn't even get basics like the date TOG was established correct (it says "early 2014", whereas the first police minutes held are from 2013, and that's very obviously not the first meeting). Which doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their ability.

I'll be doing followup requests, obviously. Meanwhile I'm still waiting to hear from MBIE about MEJIG.