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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Where The Politically-donated Bucks Should Be Stopping

By now, it seems crystal clear that something is deeply amiss with the way that New Zealand political parties solicit, receive and report their funding. Evidently, the nominal threshold of $15,000 that requires public disclosure of the donation and its source is…shall we say…vulnerable to manipulation by all and sundry. Moreover, as Otago law professor Andrew Geddis has pointed out, unless political leaders have been stupid enough as to explicitly tell their own staff and/or donors that they’re aware that certain practices break the law but intend to pursue them anyway, then the law has not been broken – not by the political leaders at least... More>>


 

New Zealand Government: Action On Fuel Market Competition

The Government has released a comprehensive response to ensuring New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump. This follows the Commerce Commission fuel market ... More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: 18,400 Children Lifted Out Of Poverty

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed new reporting showing the Coalition Government is on track to meet its child poverty targets, with 18,400 children lifted out of poverty as a result of the Families Package... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, ... More>>

ALSO:



Vaping: Government To Regulate Products

No sales to under-18-year-olds No advertising and sponsorship of vaping products and e-cigarettes No vaping or smokeless tobacco in smokefree areas Regulates vaping product safety comprehensively, - including devices, flavours and ingredients Ensure ... More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels