Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Media statement on Paula Bennett privacy complaint

Office of Human Rights Proceedings: Media statement on Paula Bennett

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings announced today the resolution of a complaint under the Privacy Act against Hon Paula Bennett, Minister of Social Development.

The Director, Mr Robert Hesketh said, “On the basis of the Minister’s letter to me, I have agreed to close my file. The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. The letter from the Minister is attached. We have all agreed that the letter speaks for itself and we will make no further comment.”

The complaint had been referred to the Director by the Privacy Commissioner. This is the normal process under the Privacy Act when the Privacy Commissioner considers a complaint has substance, but the parties cannot agree on a settlement.


Letter Office of Hon Paula Bennett 30 July 2012.pdf

--

[The following is a text-recognition version of Paula Bennett's letter generated by Scoop – may contain errors.]

Office of Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development
Minister of Youth Affairs

Monday, 30 July 2012

Director of Human Rights Proceedings
PO Box 6751
Wellesley Street
Auckland

Dear Mr Hesketh,

I have on previous occasions expressed to you through my counsel and to Ms Fuller, when I met with her in person, my regret at the personal cost that this incident has caused Ms Fuller. The purpose of this letter is to formally convey that.

I strongly support the right of individuals to participate in and comment on govemment decisions. It is essential to a functioning democracy. I was therefore pleased that Ms Fuller took the opportunity to express her opinions on the Govemment’s policy changes.

As you know, I took the view that it was appropriate for me to respond to some of Ms Fuller’s comments in order to provide what I considered to be information relevant to the public debate that was taking place at the time. I acknowledge that you consider that I was wrong to do so and that this resulted in a breach of Ms Fuller’s privacy.

As you also know, I do not accept that view. But the purpose of this letter is not to further debate the merits of our respective positions. What I do want to do is to record my acknowledgment of the personal cost that the resulting public debate has caused Ms Fuller. I was personally shocked and concerned by the unpleasant, hurtful and personal comments some members of the public made about Ms Fuller. I am also distressed that such comments have been repeated following media reports about Ms Fuller’s complaint. Individuals who participate in public debate should not be subject to that kind of treatment. It was certainly never my intention that Ms Fuller would find herself in that unpleasant position.

I understand that Ms Fuller wishes to move on with her life and to put this unfortunate incident behind her. I hope that she is able to do so and that this letter may help to bring this matter to a close.
Given that this matter has attracted such a high level of media and public interest, it seems sensible for this letter to be made public to ensure the accuracy of any commentary and to bring the matter to a close by avoiding any ongoing media speculation. I understand that Ms Fuller is happy for that to happen. To that end, I confirm that if asked about the matter I will direct the questioner to this letter. I trust that the media and other interested parties will respect Ms Fuller’s desire to move on with her life and to stay out of the public spotlight. I wish her all the best for the future.

Yours sincerely,

Hon Paula Bennett

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news