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Angry at Westpac

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, October 26th, 2015 - 57 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Dirty Politics, law, police - Tags: , , ,

This may turn out to have been a very bad move for Westpac:

Police got Hager data without court order

Westpac handed over private details without judicial authorisation, though other firms declined, court documents show.

See also RNZ and this:

Law breach possible over Hager bank data: Expert

A legal expert says police have probably broken the law by obtaining the personal bank information of journalist Nicky Hager without a court order.

People are angry – here’s a selection from Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Zagzigger2/status/658095286259052544

https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/657615150329888768

57 comments on “Angry at Westpac ”

  1. Anne 1

    Chris Trotter:
    The covert cooperation of powerful institutions. Nicky Hager’s treatment by Westpac and Police is a wake-up call for every sentient citizen.

    This is nothing new. It’s been going on for decades – at least as far back as the 1960s/70s where the police are concerned. I refer to covert ops. against innocent persons for political purposes. Many of us have had personal experience and/or have close relatives who were targeted. In my case it was my father in the 1970s followed some years later by me.

    Don’t ever believe the mantra that the police are politically neutral. It’s poppycock.

  2. rob 2

    i to have been with westpac atleast 30 yrs. and been thinking of changing for various reasons lately, but this has confirmed that i will definitely be moving on. not that it will bother them I’m sure , but if people cared in numbers it just might? hmmm maybe

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    They say people change their bank less often than they get married. Let’s hope Westpac broke the mold.

  4. Leftie 4

    “probably illegal” ?
    “probably broken the law” ?

    I would say that there are no probabilities about it. What Westpac and the police did was illegal, and did break the law.

    Will they be held to account?

    • Joe Bloggs 4.1

      I’m not convinced that what Westpac did was outside of the law. Gutless and immoral? Yes. Inappropriate? Yes. But not illegal…

      AFAIK all of the banks say in their General Terms that they can hand information over to the police if they reasonably believe that that action will assist in the investigation, detection and/or prevention of fraud, money laundering or other criminal offences”.

      I may be wrong but as best I can understand that gives them legal rights to hand over whatever information that they want as long as they can claim reasonable belief.

      That’s what we sign up to when we open accounts.

      And that’s why the Privacy Commissioner needs to set proper guidelines for handing over information

      • Anne 4.1.1

        … all of the banks say in their General Terms that they can hand information over to the police if they reasonably believe that that action will assist in the investigation, detection and/or prevention of fraud, money laundering or other criminal offences”.

        My bold.

        You may well be right Joe Bloggs but the ‘bold’ says it all. No-one in Westpac read the book “Dirty Politics” and were happy to believe the JK-lead projected garbage that Hager and co. were the ones guilty of criminal offences, fraud and money laundering and not the real criminals both in his office and closely associated with it.

        Richard Nixon and co. all over again.

        • savenz 4.1.1.1

          Is writing a book, now ‘a criminal offence’ in this country?

          Pull the other one Westpac if they expect to use that as a defence!

          Nicky Hager can defiantly not come under that definition legally.

          Police were investigating someone else not him, there is no way Hager was ever considered a criminal or fraudster or money launderer.

          Probably like in the Dotcom case once police realise their mistake they will have to manufacture evidence and trump up additional changes, and before you know it, spend 5 million plus of taxpayers on legal fees defending their ridiculous position.

          Totally dishonest!

          Police need to look at Sky City to investigate money laundering but since most public figures are on the take from Sky City, I’m not expecting that one any time soon.

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            especially as the police kept claiming Hager was a witness not a suspect. I wonder if the police file records their conversationw ith John Key who had a good idea who rawshark was/is?

            “The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published biography of John Key.

            In a new chapter in John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister devoted to this year’s election campaign, Mr Key is quoted as saying: “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was, but other than having a look at this person, I thought, ‘Oh well … nothing will come of it. Life goes on’.”

            Mr Key did not divulge the name of the person to the biography’s author, senior Herald editorial writer John Roughan. Asked yesterday whether the PM had referred the name to the police investigation into the stolen emails, a spokeswoman for Mr Key said that though he believed he knew who the hacker was, “he cannot be certain”.”

            John Roughan’s biography of the Liar-in-Cheif (LIC)

            • dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Thats the real crux of the matter. Wailing and tearing of hair about Westpac is beside the point.
              The police going on a fishing expedition would have almost certainly knocked back by the courts, so at a very minimum the legislation should require a search warrant from a judge when the person of interest is not the prime suspect. Not holding by breath on this one.

              • Tracey

                duke. you are the one who was definitive that westpacs t and cs trumped everything else and bemoanedthe lack of oomph in our privacy. so i sought to address that. now you said westpacs behaviour is beside the point.

                shaking head

      • Grindlebottom 4.1.2

        That’ll depend on whether the Privacy Act, and Hager’s claim to be journalist and thus has the right to protect his sources (which the Court will agree I think), trump their Terms & Conditions. Other agencies required the Police to produce a production order, so they obviously regarded his privacy as paramount and the police to be required to satisfy a judge that their claim to be pursuing an “offender” was reasonable.

        Thank goodness I don’t bank with Westpac. Wonder how long the Court decision will take.

        One thing I don’t understand, from the RNZ link in the post, is this bit:

        His lawyer, Felix Geiringer, would also not comment on whether Mr Hager intended to take the bank to court.
        However, due to legal reasons, Mr Hager could not act anyway unless the court also published the original Westpac documents, which were on the court file but were yet to be released, Mr Geiringer said.

        • Grindlebottom 4.1.2.1

          This answers my question above.
          Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager is seeking a “full and frank” disclosure from Westpac after it was revealed the bank handed information including 10 months of his bank statements to police.

          In a statement on Tuesday issued by Hager’s lawyer Felix Geiringer he said it was difficult for Hager to comment on the matter because that part of a court case his client had taken against police had not yet been argued.

          He said police had so far refused to release related documents requested under the Official Information Act or the Privacy Act.

          “Indeed, the police have refused even to acknowledge the existence of correspondence with Westpac under those Acts. This is despite Mr Hager expressly asking the police to list all of the documents they were wholly withholding under those Acts.”

          Hager has complained to the Privacy Commission and the Ombudsman about the police’s failure to respond fully to his requests for documents.

          Representatives of both organisations had met Hager’s lawyers and have been liaising with police over these complaints, he said.

          “Now that the fact of this breach of privacy has been made public, Mr Hager intends to seek a full and frank disclosure of the extent of the breach from Westpac. He looks forward to receiving Westpac’s response to that request and will be considering his options to take this matter further,” the statement said.
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/73125717/nicky-hager-seeking-full-and-frank-disclosure-from-westpac-over-data-release

      • Tracey 4.1.3

        You may want to do a bit more research on the judicial interpretation of reasonably believe, it doe snOT mean “the police asked us”. It also does not mean “I think so”

        Now, a production orde rgives the bank reasonable belief to hand over data otherwise oere dby privacy law etc…

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.4

        Yep, it seems that you’re right about that:

        (c) that non-compliance is necessary –

        (i) to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences

        Which would mean that the police could turn up and say that they were investigating a crime and they would give it over.

        Except that the police actually need a warrant to say that they’re investigating a crime.

        Indications are that a crime has been committed both by Westpac (by handing the data over) and by the police (By asking for the data without a warrant).

      • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1.5

        I don’t see how it gives them legal rights to hand over client information.

        There would need to be good reason and since there is clearly some grey area they should have waited for a court order.

      • Ross 4.1.6

        What grounds did Westpac have for releasing the information? Police have always said that Hager is a witness, not a suspect. I think Westpac almost certainly has breached the Privacy Act. I’d be nervous if I banked with Westpac (I don’t) because they could release my personal and private account information to a third party and I’d never know.

        • Ross 4.1.6.1

          It’s been reported today that at the time police approached Westpac they regarded Hager as a suspect. Hmmm I am not sure if they are using that as an excuse or it’s true. When and how did Hager go from a witness to a suspect?

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      Impossible for them to break the law. It was a stupid move on their part but all allowed for in their terms and conditions, in fact they can pass similar information on to other ‘financial institutions’.

      This is a wake up call to what their privacy terms are- a hollow shell

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        No, not impossible. They could be sued and require to prove their reasonale belief. Given a reasonably competent bank would know abou tproduction orders, that is their “reasonable belief”, not “the police asked us and we think Hager is a dirty little crim:

        Air New ZEaland would have similar conditions and chose to respond by seeking a production order, which would give them basis for their reasonable belief. INterestingly the police did not get a production order against AIRNZ or trademe, which leaves it open to the suggestion the police didn’t think they could establish the required grounds for one.

        So, no it is not “impossible” for them to have broken the law in this instance.

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2012/0024/latest/DLM2136746.html for information about a production order

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.2

        you cant contract out of your statutory and fiduciary obligations, sorry.

    • veutoviper 4.3

      NZ Police and Westpac’ s actions in seeking and releasing Hagar’s bank details are covered in detail in Hagar’s solicitors submission to the Court in this document (from the Scoop release)

      http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1510/20150701__Wriiten_submissions_for_the_applicant_Redacted.pdf

      The relevant section is Part V Information Request at pages 113 – 124.

      The submission claims that these actions were unlawful in breaching Hagar’s rights under the Privacy Act and the Bill of Rights Act – in respect to both the reasons given by the Police for seeking the information without first being granted a production order, and the bank doing so without a production order (whereas other third parties refused to do so without a production order which the police then did seek to obtain).

      See 5.16 onwards. 5.45 and 5.46 sets out their summary of the unlawfulness of this action. (Note – the reference to s.21 is to section 21 of the Bill of Rights Act. Elsewhere they consider it also breaches section 14 of BORA.)

      The Police gave a number of different reasons for seeking to obtain information from third parties such as Westpac – including obtaining Hagar’s address – as noted in 5.23 this was readily available from the Wellington Phone Book.

      The submission does not cover Westpac or other banks’ General Terms with regard to customers agreeing to the bank handing over information to the police in certain circumstances. There has been some discussion of this aspect on Twitter as to whether the Privacy Act takes precedence over these Terms and Conditions ( I would think so, but I am not a lawyer).

      I expect that we will see considerable further discussion on this aspect of the Hagar case in the media once the long weekend is over and rugby mania settles down, due to the high public interest in the possibility of banks handing over their private information without a production order having been sought and granted on valid legal grounds.

      • Tracey 4.3.1

        “The Police gave a number of different reasons for seeking to obtain information from third parties such as Westpac – including obtaining Hagar’s address – as noted in 5.23 this was readily available from the Wellington Phone Book.”

        They should have just asked Hooton.

      • veutoviper 4.3.2

        As a follow-up to 4.3 above, I have now read the section of the Police’s response to Hager’s submission in respect to the seeking of information from third parties including banks.

        This response is in the link from the Scoop documents. Note: this is a very big document which takes ages to download.)

        http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1510/3020945_First_and_Second_Respondents__Submissions_Redacted.pdf

        The relevant paragraphs are 114 – 122. IMHO, it is a pretty weak defence.

        In essence, they claim that they believe there was a legitimate situation to seek a production order for an exception to the Privacy Act provisions. However, they claim that the approaches to banks etc were simply information requests and Westpac and other banks could just have refused to provide information until a production order was presented – as did the other third parties such as Trade Me, Spark etc.

        Again, no mention of the banks’ General Terms and Conditions.

        • Tracey 4.3.2.1

          which reinforces that the claim, in this regard, is against Westpac for breach of
          privacy act
          contract with customer

          • veutoviper 4.3.2.1.1

            Agreed – and the Police defence actually suggests that it is a civil matter. However, imho this does not absolve the Police from actions to obtain private information without following the letter of the law in respect of seeking and obtaining a production order.

      • veutoviper 4.3.3

        PS – My apologies for misspelling Hager’s name in 4.3. I was out of time to correct this before I noticed.

        • Anne 4.3.3.1

          Don’t worry v v. I do it all the time. I think HagER must be used to it.

        • veutoviper 4.3.3.2

          Ooops – another edit needed.

          End of para 3: ” … whereas other third parties refused to do so without a production order which the police then did seek to obtain).” should read “whereas other third parties refused to do so without a production order which the police then did NOT seek to obtain).”

      • Anne 4.3.4

        “Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced Westpac was the winning bidder for the core contract, which accounts for $229 billion worth of credit and $219 billion of debit transactions each year.

        Got it.

        You scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours…

    • Ross 4.4

      I’d be surprised if Westpac didn’t breach the Privacy Act. However, breaches of the Act typically end up with a slap on the wrist for the wrongdoer.

      I’d like to see Westpac publicly apologise to Hager as well as agree to pay him a decent sum for its actions.

  5. Neil 5

    When this sort of thing happens, the word “Dictatorship” come to mind immediately.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      no, it’s a melding of corporate and governmental power against dissident citizens. That has another name.

  6. Tracey 6

    “Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced Westpac was the winning bidder for the core contract, which accounts for $229 billion worth of credit and $219 billion of debit transactions each year. Westpac will continue to provide core transactional services, foreign exchange transactions, payment services and card services.”
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/westpac-keeps-core-government-transactions-contract-other-banks-get-peripheral-services-b

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/72715934/after-four-years-of-talks-westpac-retains-most-of-government-banking-contract

    “On Monday Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said six banks had been given slices of the lucrative all-of-government banking services contract.

    But by far the key element of the contract, Crown transactional banking services, was won by incumbent Westpac.

    Westpac New Zealand chief executive David McLean says contract win makes it the “government’s main bank”.
    Peter Meecham
    Westpac New Zealand chief executive David McLean says contract win makes it the “government’s main bank”.

    For months banking sources have indicated that Westpac had won the core of the contract, as there had been little appetite within the Beehive for a change. Under the terms of the eight year contract 35 core government agencies are required to use Westpac.

    Such is the volume of the contract that one banking source claimed it enabled Westpac to effectively determine the timing of payment settlements between New Zealand banks.

    In 2011 John Key said there would be a tender for the banking contract, first awarded to Westpac in 1989. …. Westpac said the contract win meant it remained as “the government’s main bank”, extending its relationship with the Crown to more than 30 years, noting that it was the only bank which had won elements of all four parts of the contract.

    “Our win reinforces our leadership position in corporate and institutional banking in New Zealand and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Government across all its banking needs,” Westpac New Zealand chief executive David McLean said.”

  7. NZJester 7

    Don’t worry Westpac I’m sure John Key will pop a law through under urgency to make this breach of Nicky Hager’s privacy retroactively legal so you will not get in trouble when it is ruled illegal by a court. He will also be over to lick your boots for having this small amount of legal trouble to sort out.

  8. Freemark 8

    A few comments out there regarding Hagar & his sources being untouchable due to the “Public interest.”
    IMO we saw at the Election and subsequently how interested “the Public” were/are in the book and the issues.
    Westpac (& every bank) is required by law & often does disclose many details of account balances, income/expenses etc to other Govt organisations such as IRD etc.
    They will also on behalf of these organisations clean out bank accounts and pay them over to said Govt department.
    Where is the outrage about this?

    • Anne 8.1

      We’re not talking about government departmental cooperation to obtain evidence of fraudulent or criminal behaviour. Nicky Hager had committed no such offences and the police were well aware of that fact from the start.

      What we are talking about is a band of corrupt police officers using a legal loophole for the purpose of harassing and intimidating a NZ citizen because he had the temerity to write a book exposing corruption within the government which lead directly to the Prime Minister’s office. The fact so many voters are ignorant and clueless when it comers to such matters is not the fault of the messenger – in this case Nicky Hager – but the lazy, dumbed down voters of which you appear to be one.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      It’s nice to know that “FreeSlavemark” is happy for a Left wing government to investigate their illegal attitude towards human rights without a warrant.

    • Tracey 8.3

      Lots of members of the public being interested in something is NOT the same as public interest. Public interest is a legal principle to which many who make your argument seem oblivious.

      The Police are not the IRD, although you seem confused about that? Nor are they:
      ACC, the Ministry of Social Development(acting under S11) or seeking info pursuant to the Cancer Registry Act, Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act, all of which provide exceptions to the Privacy Act principles and obligations.

      Interestingly (especially for Westpac) when 15 other organisations were asked for information about Hager they refused and sought a production order, which the police did not pursue. Possibly because they simply couldn’t make a case out against a witness under that provision.

    • Tracey 8.4

      “reasonable grounds to suspect”

      “Some statutes use a threshold of “reasonable grounds to suspect” for preliminary matters, such as for the exercise of police powers under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. Previously, orders under the Securities Markets Act 1988 could be made where a court had “reasonable grounds to suspect” non-compliance, but courts expressed discomfort with the combination of a low standard of proof and the range of serious penalties available: see Meridian Global Funds Management Asia Ltd v Securities Commission [1994] 2 NZLR 291 (CA) at 296 and Ithaca (Custodians) Ltd v Perry Corp [2004] 1 NZLR 731 (CA) at 743. The Act now specifies that “the usual civil standard of proof applies”:. Securities Markets Act 1988, s 42ZI.”

      http://ip33.publications.lawcom.govt.nz/Chapter+6+-+The+critical+issues/Standard+of+proof

    • Tracey 8.5

      The Terms and conditions of the Westpac bank refer to reason to believe.

      “The guidance from the authorities above is that:

      1. A belief is a state of mind
      2. A reasonable belief is a belief based on reasonable grounds.
      3. A belief is based on reasonable grounds when,
      (i) all known considerations relevant to the formation of a belief are taken into account including matters of opinion and
      (ii) those known considerations are objectively assessed
      4. A just and fair judgement that reasonable grounds exist in support of a belief can be made when all known considerations are taken into account and objectively assessed. ”

      https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CD4QFjAFahUKEwj1jLLFuuPIAhUG4aYKHcnfDJ8&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ahpra.gov.au%2Fdocuments%2Fdefault.aspx%3Frecord%3DWD13%252F9984%26dbid%3DAP%26chksum%3D6qQ5UWHS6dDd7i0gSA1l3A%253D%253D&usg=AFQjCNEGgbelUfTyp-TbExLGmYbAaWv5hA

  9. Freemark 9

    Ahhh, the old “clueless voters” one – like the missing million?
    “We’re not talking about government departmental cooperation to obtain evidence of fraudulent or criminal behaviour”
    Isn’t the whole point that the Police are looking for fraudulent or criminal behaviour?
    Or would be happy to have someone hack your PC (or LPrent’s) because they didn’t like your politics, or suspected that you were communicating with Politicians in a way that they didn’t think was “fair?”
    If you suspect Corrupt behaviour aren’t you pleased that the Police are performing a thorough investigation?

    • Anne 9.1

      We’ve got a right one here. Dim as a 30 watt light bulb.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      So unless you pretend that Hager is suspected of a crime, your argument will fall over to reveal the hatred behind it? Or as Anne says, do you just want to come over as a little bit dim?

    • Tracey 9.3

      How about you read up on reasonable belief and production orders?

      Still wondering why the Police didnt just ask John Key he said he was pretty sure who Rawshark was.

      has Rawshark been identified and any criminal charges laid against him/her Freemark?

    • Tracey 9.4

      71 Enforcement officer may apply for production order
      (1)
      An enforcement officer who may apply for a search warrant to obtain documents may apply to an issuing officer for a production order against a person in respect of those documents if the enforcement officer is satisfied that the conditions, specified in section 72, for making the order against the person are met.
      (2)
      An application under this section must be in writing and must set out the following particulars:
      (a)
      the name of the applicant:
      (b)
      the provision authorising the making of an application for a search warrant in respect of the suspected offence:
      (c)
      a description of the offence that it is suspected has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed:
      (d)
      the facts relied on to show reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence has been committed, or is being committed, or will be committed:
      (e)
      a description of the documents for which production is sought:
      (f)
      the facts relied on to show reasonable grounds to believe the documents sought are in the possession or under the control of the person against whom the order is sought:
      (g)
      whether the person against whom the order is made should be required to produce,—
      (i)
      on 1 occasion only, those documents for which production is sought that are in his or her possession or under his or her control when the order is made; or
      (ii)
      on an ongoing basis, those documents for which production is sought that are in his or her possession or under his or her control at the time the order is made, and those documents for which production is sought and that come into his or her possession or come under his or her control at any time while the order is in force.

      s72

      72 Conditions for making production order
      The conditions for making a production order are that there are reasonable grounds
      (a)
      to suspect that an offence has been committed, or is being committed, or will be committed (being an offence in respect of which this Act or any enactment specified in column 2 of the Schedule authorises an enforcement officer to apply for a search warrant); and
      (b)
      to believe that the documents sought by the proposed order—
      (i)
      constitute evidential material in respect of the offence; and
      (ii)
      are in the possession or under the control of the person against whom the order is sought, or will come into his or her possession or under his or her control while the order is in force.

      Column 2 Schedule 2

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2012/0024/latest/DLM4356950.html#DLM4356950

      Explanation of “reasonable grounds to suspect” can be found here (note it is in relation to the Search and Surveillance Act)
      http://nzcriminallaw.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/reasonable-grounds-to-suspect.html

  10. veutoviper 10

    Breaking News

    About 15 minutes ago, Felix Geiringer, part of Hager’s legal team, tweeted a statement re the release of bank information by Westpac to NZ Police. The statement is entitled “News release on behalf of Nicky Hager concerning privacy breach by Westpac”.

    You need to zoom up massively to read the statement – eg 200% +

    In essence the news release states that:

    – At present, Hager and the legal team are unable to speak openly, give interviews etc, as this part of Hager’s case has not yet been heard in the High Court.

    – Separately, they have sought release of all communications between NZ Police and Westpac through the Privacy Act and OIA procedures, but NZ Police have refused to supply the communications.

    – The legal team is in discussion with the Privacy Commissioner and Office of the Ombudsmen on this refusal, and the latter are discussing this refusal with NZ Police.

    – Hager is very concerned about the privacy breach; hence it forms part of his overall High Court case against NZ Police.

    – Hager intends to explore all possible options open to him on this breach, and hopes that he will be able to talk more openly, give interviews on this in the future.

  11. Tracey 11

    Hager teleases statement through his lawyer. Complaints laid with Privacy Commissioner and Ombudsmen

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/73125717/Nicky-Hager-seeking-full-and-frank-disclosure-from-Westpac-over-data-release

  12. Tracey 12

    Some we were wondering about what the Privacy Act is subject to and if it trumps all else.

    I maintain it does trump Common Law (which will govern Westpac;’s contract with customers to some extent).

    Section 7 of the Act explains “overrides”

    “Section 7 of the Privacy Act states that other statutes which prohibit or restrict the
    availability of personal information take precedence over the information privacy
    principles. Section 7 also recognises that where another piece of law allows or requires personal information to be used in a specific way, this will override the general provisions of the Privacy Act. When this happens, the OPC calls it a section 7 override.

    For example:
    • The Tax Administration Act allows or requires the IRD to collect and disclose
    information in a certain way.
    • ACC can only collect information with the patient’s authorisation.
    • Section 11 of the Social Securities Act lets the Ministry of Social Development
    collect specific types of information, as long as certain conditions are met.
    • Several Acts in the health context, such as the Cancer Registry Act, Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act, and so on, are also included in this category”

    From the Privacy Commissioner website.

    Coincidentally I am teaching the Privacy Act to students from tomorrow…

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    2 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
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    2 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
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    3 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
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    3 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
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    3 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
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    4 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
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    5 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
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    5 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
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    5 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
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    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
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    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
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    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
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    1 week ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Transport to drive economic recovery
    The Government is investing a record amount in transport services and infrastructure to get New Zealand moving, reduce emissions and support the economic recovery, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) was released today which outlines the planned investments Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency ...
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    2 weeks ago