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

 


Bills to improve and safeguard information sharing passed


Hon Judith Collins
Minister of Justice

21 February 2013 Media Statement
Bills to improve and safeguard information sharing passed

Legislation to improve information sharing between agencies that deliver public services has passed its final reading in Parliament today.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says the new laws will clarify and improve the rules around how government agencies share personal information, while ensuring safeguards are in place to protect individual’s privacy.

“These changes pave the way for better services for all New Zealanders, from improving our ability to protect vulnerable children, to reducing duplication and information handling costs.

“The new laws give greater flexibility and certainty about when and how public services providers can share information, and reinforces their obligations to safeguard people’s privacy,” Ms Collins says.

The Privacy Act will be amended to allow new information sharing agreements between government agencies, and between government agencies and non-government organisations that deliver public services.

The changes also ensure that agencies (such as medical professionals, social workers, Police, Civil Defence and others) can share personal information to address serious threats to public health or safety, or when a person’s life or health is threatened. Previously a threat had to be both “serious and imminent”.

“In some cases, serious threats to lives, safety or health are not going to eventuate immediately, but waiting until the last minute risks leaving too much to chance and putting people in harm’s way. It does not make sense to keep information about a serious threat secret, just because that threat is not about to happen,” Ms Collins says.

In earlier stages of the Parliamentary process, the legislation was known as the Privacy (Information Sharing) Bill, but it was split into the three bills during the recent Committee of the Whole House stage. The three bills are the Privacy Amendment Bill, the Tax Administration Amendment Bill, and the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Amendment Bill.

The two latter Bills clear the way for the Inland Revenue Department and the Department of Internal Affairs to use approved information sharing agreements. Without the new Bills, existing legislation would restrict their ability to use such agreements.

The Bills are part of the Government’s wider reform of privacy legislation, including the Privacy Act 1993. The Government has previously announced it will repeal and re-enact the Privacy Act, once it finishes considering recommendations from the Law Commission’s recent review.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news