15 August 2012
Prime Minister must tell Bennett to follow privacy law
John Key should instruct Paula Bennett to act in accordance with the Privacy Act, in light of her refusal today to rule
out releasing private information on benefit recipients in the future, said the Green Party.
The Human Rights Commission determined today that Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a benefit recipient when she
leaked her benefit details to the media.
“Given the very significant breach of privacy at ACC recently I would have thought the Prime Minister would instruct
Paula Bennett to act in accordance with privacy law,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“John Key needs to treat Paula Bennett’s refusal to guarantee she won't release private information again very
seriously. This is a Minister who has access to hundreds of thousands of personal files.
“The Ministers openness to releasing private information puts every New Zealander at risk should they choose to
legitimately state a view on Government policy, as the person who won this complaint did.
“Paula Bennett seems to think she is above the law, and her refusal to rule out the release of private information in
the future is very concerning for any New Zealander who has personal information held by a department she may be in
“Paula Bennett should give a proper apology for her privacy breach as well as the impact of that breach on the
complainant and her family.
“All New Zealanders have the right to speak out and not be silenced by fear that National Government Ministers will
expose their private information in retaliation.”