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


AAAP calls on MSD CEO and deputy CEO to resign

AAAP calls on MSD CEO and deputy CEO to resign for overseeing unlawful activity

Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the CEO and deputy CEO of the Ministry of Social Development to resign following a report by the Privacy Commissioner, which found that the Ministry was unlawfully breaching beneficiaries’ privacy. The report also suggests that the Ministry of Social Development breached The Bill of Rights 1990, unnecessarily collected intimate text messages of beneficiaries, and failed to ask people on the benefit being investigated information before seeking it from third parties.

“Auckland Action Against Poverty does not make calls for resignations lightly. Successive leadership at the Ministry of Social Development oversaw the unlawful practice of intrusive investigation practices, including the current CEO Debbie Power and deputy CEO Vic Rickard. MSD failed to review its investigative practices twice in 2015 and 2018, despite ongoing concerns by advocacy groups and the Privacy Commissioner, therefore upholding the policy change brought in by the National-led administration in 2012”, says Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.

“Despite ongoing calls by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni for kind and compassionate governance, the people running the Ministry of Social Development continued to act unlawfully and abused its powers to pry into beneficiaries’ intimate lives to determine whether they are in a relationship or not.

“This Government had an opportunity to review these invasive investigative practices in 2018 and chose not to, entrenching the National-led Government’s decision to put undue scrutiny on beneficiaries’ private lives. It took a damning report by the Privacy Commissioner for MSD to review its practices, though it was received without remorse and with no apology from the Minister, the CEO or its deputy CEO.

“The CEO and deputy CEO of MSD need to resign, and the Minister of Social Development should apologise for upholding these unlawful and cruel policies while in charge. The Ministry needs to be run by people that are committed to upholding the values outlined by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommendations, which are meant to restore dignity to the welfare system.

“The Government also needs to immediately review the legislation and policy concerning ‘marriage type’ relationships. The current law enables the Ministry to arbitrarily determine whether someone is in a relationship. People may completely lose their benefit entitlements and financial independence if they are viewed to be in a marriage type relationship. Our welfare system needs to stop punishing people for being in a relationship and reflect the complex human relationships of the 21st century.

“As one of the organisations that brought forward concerns to the Privacy Commissioner regarding MSD investigative practices, we look forward to continuing our advocacy work to ensure people on the benefit receive their full legal entitlements. Our advocates and volunteers will be working at the frontlines ensuring that they are fairly treated by Government agencies, rather than unduly scrutinised.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

RNZ Live Blog: Eruption At Whakaari / White Island

An eruption has occured on Whakaari / White Island in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash into the sky.More>>

Police Update
While it was initially believed there were approximately 100 people on or near the island at the time of the eruption, we now believe there were fewer than 50.

Some of those people have been transported to shore, however a number believed to be on the island are currently unaccounted for. Of those transported to shore, at least one has been critically injured. More>>



Big, Bold, Permanent Change Needed: Children's Commissioner On 2019 Child Poverty Monitor

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage. And the Government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing..." More>>


RNZ Live Updates: Weather Mayhem Strands Tourists; Major Roads Closed

Hundreds of tourists are stranded on the West Coast, and on the other side of the South Island a flood-damaged bridge has closed State Highway 1, after a weekend of torrential rain... More>>


Policing: Armoured Specialist Police Vehicles

New Zealand Police has taken delivery of three Armoured Special Purpose Vehicles. The vehicles are unmarked and look like standard Toyota Land cruisers... They will not be used for patrol. More>>

Single Use PVC And Polystyrene Out: Next Steps On Plastic Waste

The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. More>>


Faafoi Statement: Minister's Suspicious Immigration Texts

I have apologised to the Prime Minister and understand I have let her down in regards to my dealings with Jason Kerrison over an immigration matter concerning his family. More>>


NZ First Conflicts Of Interest: New Details Around Timeline

New information has emerged showing it was the New Zealand First chief of staff who identified potential conflicts of interest between a forestry company and two senior government ministers, sparking a series of declarations. More>>



Five New Cancer Meds In Six Months: Pharmac Funds More Cancer Medicines, Faster Assessment

PHARMAC has confirmed that two new medicines – olaparib for ovarian cancer and fulvestrant for breast cancer – have been approved for funding... Rituximab and bortezomib, which are already funded, have also been approved for widened access following successful commercial proposals from new suppliers. More>>






InfoPages News Channels