Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Housing NZ Trampling On Privacy Rights

Green MP Sue Bradford said today that she was growing more and more concerned about the privacy rights of Housing NZ tenants after hearing the Minister of Housing's reply to a question she asked in the House.

"It appears that Housing NZ will pass on not only relevant rent-related information to the Department of Work and Income, but also other financial information, marital or partnership status and even the full application form for rent reductions in some cases."

This information has then been used by DWI in some cases to cut special benefits, without a proper review of entitlement to the benefit.

Ms Bradford said a privacy waiver on the income-related rents form gave the departments no excuse to swap information because the waiver was signed without adequate information.

"The waiver is part of the application to have income-related rent assessed - and there is no information on the form which says it does not have to be agreed to. It would take a brave person to stand up and say I'm not going to sign that form which entitles me to a rent reduction, when their accommodation supplement has automatically been stopped."

Ms Bradford said she was extremely concerned that the privacy rights of beneficiaries were being ignored by the two agencies which are supposed help them when they are in a vulnerable and needy situation.

"Staff at Housing NZ need to tell tenants about their privacy rights and that they have the option of refusing to sign the waiver when they apply for their income-related rent reduction."

"There still seems to be an attitudinal hangover from the past that beneficiaries don't have the same basic rights to privacy and dignity as working members of society, which adds to the burden they carry every day."

The Green Party will be asking the Privacy Commissioner to investigate whether Housing NZ has breached the privacy rights of beneficiaries.

Sue will speak further on this issue during the first reading of the Housing Corporation Amendment Bill


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels