Parliament

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

 

Release of information to assist landlords

10 October 2002 Media Statement

Government seeking practical solution to the release of personal information to assist landlords

The government is working on a new data-matching programme to assist landlords in the recovery of tenancy tribunal debts and is seeking an interim order delaying the release of beneficiary addresses under the Official Information Act until a court ruling is made, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The Ombudsman has recommended that the Ministry of Social Development should release the addresses of clients to the Department for Courts in four cases where landlords are seeking to recover debts from former tenants. Advice from Crown Law recommends against releasing the information, and because it has far reaching implications for all government agencies, it suggests that we seek the Court’s interpretation of the Official Information Act on the point.

Steve Maharey said he had discussed the government’s preferred solution with landlord representative organisations the New Zealand Property Investors Federation and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

“The government sympathises with the situation landlords face recovering unpaid rent and we are determined to sort this issue out properly. I have asked for two pieces of work to be undertaken as a matter of priority.

“Firstly, the government is looking to establish a data matching programme authorised under the Privacy Act as soon as possible to provide a practical solution to this issue. I have asked officials to advise the government on the implementation issues.

“If the Department for Courts, on behalf of landlords and other judgment creditors, is to have access to information the Ministry holds about beneficiaries, it may be better that Parliament address the matter directly. The Ministry of Social Development is at present working on advice for Ministers on this issue. We will consult the Privacy Commissioner and public comment will be sought in developing the solution.

“Secondly, the government has agreed that the Ministry of Social Development should file court papers seeking a declaratory judgment on the Ombudsman’s recommendation and an interim court order allowing the Ministry to wait for that ruling. We are not seeking to challenge the Ombudsman or his office, however we do consider that a declaratory judgment is the best way to get a clear view on these issues.

Both the New Zealand Property Investors Federation President Craig Paddon and President of the Real Estate Institute Graeme Woodley said property owners and managers welcomed any initiative where there was constructive cooperation between government departments to ensure Tenancy Tribunal and Court decisions were properly enforced.

Both organisations also welcomed the Ministers assurance that matters are to be progressed with some urgency.

Steve Maharey said that Crown Law advice is that the consequence of the Ombudsman's recommendation would be to insert state agencies into the middle of private parties' litigation and debt recovery dealings.

“As a matter of principle, I think this is a decision that should rightly be made by Parliament.

“The government also considers that implementing the Ombudsman’s recommendation might create a number of new requirements on government agencies that would be difficult to implement. It could make government agencies the first port of call for people wanting to recover debts, and we need to be sure that is what the law requires,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Tourism’s Endless Sense Of Grievance

Sad that a once in a century pandemic should have come along before the government had a clearly thought out plan for rescuing all the firms and saving all the jobs in the tourism sector. Sad that the government now looks like it was making up the criteria for support as it went along. But guess what? To some extent, they were. Possibly because in the modern era, a pandemic had never before caused international travel to evaporate almost overnight... More>>

 

PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>

ALSO:


PM Statement: Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level Review

Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin. This week is the Māori ... More>>

ALSO:

Greens: $297m Fund To Support Sustainable Food And Farming

The Green Party has released its Farming for the Future Plan, including a $297m fund to support farmers and growers to transition to climate-friendly practices. The plan will: · Improve how we look after our land and water, with a levy on the ... More>>

ALSO:

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>

ALSO:

NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>

Police: Numerous Arrests Following Investigation Into Historical Offending At Auckland School

Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, Auckland City Police: Police have made six arrests as part of an operation investigating historical offending at Dilworth School. Auckland City Criminal Investigation Branch have been investigating since a complaint ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels