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Q+A: Minister Andrew Little interviewed by Jack Tame

Justice Minister Andrew Little is considering a central repository for court suppression orders to assist companies like Google from disseminating suppressed information again following the breach in the Grace Millane case.

“I’ve raised that with justice officials, and I am keen to explore that a little further. I mean, bearing in mind however that when a suppression order is given, it takes effect the minute the judge hands it down. But I think there is a case to say you know, even for New Zealand media as well, there ought to be a place you can easily go to find out whether in relation to a particular case, however you describe it, there are suppression orders that apply in relation to it.”

However Minister Little conceded this could take some time.

“Oh, that would take a wee while. I’m not going to give timeframes. I’ve discovered while being a minister things that you think the government could do quickly seldom ever are.”

Andrew Little told Q+A’s Jack Tame that while Google has agreed to suspend its New Zealand Trending email, that is likely to be a short-term measure.

“I see that as an interim measure. Really, the real issue is the fact that they’ve got an algorithm that gathers up stuff, including suppressed information, and publishes it in New Zealand. They’ve got to fix that problem.”

Andrew Little says it wouldn’t make a difference to the tech giants if the New Zealand government stopped paying for advertising on the tech platforms.

“I’m not quite sure that the New Zealand government withholding a level of advertising is going to help, when there’s, you know, billions of advertisers that spend with them elsewhere. Well, the issue is the gathering up and publishing of information that is the subject of a suppression order. And whether the government pulls its advertising dollar from Google, and it’s still got lots of advertising dollars being generated out of New Zealand, still be publishing in New Zealand.”

Please find the transcript attached and the full interview here.

Q+A, 9:30pm Mondays on TVNZ 1 and one hour later on TVNZ 1 + 1.
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