The Ministry for Primary Industries says it has uncovered evidence of potential serious staff misconduct relating to events that occurred some years ago that involved several employees who no longer work for MPI.
In a statement released today MPI says the conduct was of a sufficiently serious nature that they have referred it to the State Services Commission 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).
MPI says they are working to assist the SSC inquiry and are conducting their own internal inquiry.
The statement reveals that MPI are extremely disappointed to learn that past employees of their organisation potentially breached their Code of Conduct, trust, and by proxy the trust that was given to them by the New Zealanders that they served.
In last few years since these matters occurred, MPI says they have instituted a number of measures to reinforce their Code of Conduct and will look at these systems to see if there are further improvements that can be made.
Because this matter is under investigation, MPI say they will make no further comment.