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Another revenge leaking from Nats

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, October 17th, 2012 - 31 comments
Categories: accountability, Ethics, paula bennett - Tags: , , , ,

The incompetence of Paula Bennett’s Ministry of Social development is truly unbelievable. They left confidential information accessible from public kiosks. It came out early on that they were warned of the vulnerability in July last year by a beneficiary advocate – and they did nothing. Yesterday it emerged that they were also warned by an IT company – and they did nothing!

IT firm warned WINZ of kiosk issues last year

The Ministry of Social Development was warned by an IT company last year that private client information could be accessed on its public computer kiosks.

But the system flaws are only being fixed now – a year-and-a-half later – after blogger Keith Ng accessed tens of thousands of confidential documents.

In April last year security experts from leading international IT company Dimension Data were contracted to hack Work and Income kiosks to find vulnerabilities in the system. Yesterday the Ministry of Social Development CEO said the company didn’t find anything wrong, and today the story changed.

“Dimension Data raised issues with MSD, MSD paid them $10,000 to do that and then did nothing to follow up the problems they identified,” says Labour social development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern.

Then of course, there was the third warning from Ira Biley. He approached the MSD, and requested a reward for his information (much like Dimension Data was paid 10K). When this was declined he tipped off Keith Ng, and the rest is history. Naturally the Nats (and their odious proxies), looking for any kind of distraction, have attacked him. Continuing the piece above:

Ms Bennett and her staff have been accused of intentionally leaking Urewera 17 member Ira Bailey’s name to the media. He tipped Mr Ng off, having failed to get money from the Ministry of Social Development for pointing out the system flaws.

“He was asking for a reward – I believe that was the word that was used – so you can sort of take from that what you want to,” Ms Bennett says.

Ms Bennett says … no one was under any obligation to keep Mr Bailey’s name secret But the Opposition will keep asking for an investigation into what it believes was a revenge leak.

Earlier this year the Privacy Commissioner concluded that Paula Bennett broke the law in leaking the private details of two beneficiaries. Bennett refused to accept the conclusion, and said that she could leak details again in the future. Sure enough she appears to have done so again. Naturally Key (who joined in the attack) will not hold her to account. So (in Bennett’s own words eh) you can sort of take from that what you want to…

31 comments on “Another revenge leaking from Nats”

  1. marsman 1

    All this shows Paula Bennett up for the spiteful nasty wee creature she obviously is. Ira Bailey did her and her incompetent Department a huge favour and what does she do? She turns around and tries to blacken his name. Nasty is too kind a word.

  2. karol 2

    Under Andrew Geddis’s post on the issue, one of the commenters claims that he heard on RNZ yesterday, that Ira Bailey didn’t ask for money to report the holes to the MSD.  John Norma said:
     

    in which an Ira Bailey was questioned and heard to deny asking for money or like payment for his contribution or IT assistance etc..

     
    Can anyone confirm this?

    • Stephen 2.1

      It’s not quite as clear cut as that. Listen to:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2535731/massive-breach-of-security-at-the-msd.asx

      Ira said he asked whether they had a reward program. They didn’t get back to him, so he told Keith. Then they did get back to him, and he said hey, I told Keith, you can get all the details from him. (My paraphrases.)

      Incidentally that interview is a damned good list. Ira lays out what he found in more detail than Keith reported initially. It’s really damning.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Yes I heard that interview too and he did quite a lot to alert them to the issue. I note in the NZH article Ira says,

        I called up on Monday 8th October to say there was a security leak and ask who to talk to. And I also asked was there an incentives scheme about security flaws, which is what Google and Facebook do.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10840789

        Asking about an incentive scheme for discovering security flaws is not the same as demanding payment IMO.

      • weka 2.1.2

        Here’s the timeline (from what I can tell from the Checkpoint interview with Bailey)

        Friday (5th Oct): Bailey visits Newton kiosk, sees security breach within a few minutes of looking.

        Monday morning: He goes to a different WINZ office, uses a kiosk and sees breach is there too.

        Phones MSD at 10am, says he wants to report a security breach, gets put through to an answerphone. Doesn’t leave a message.

        Phones back, leaves a message with name and phone number.

        Tues: no call back from MSD, gives story to Keith Ng.

        Weds: MSD contact him, he tells them he has given details to a journalist. MSD wants details of problem, but Bailey refers them to Ng for the information. He apologies for this in the RNZ interview, but says that at the time he thought the story needed to be told and not covered up (if he told the MSD directly they would close the kiosks and the story would be lost).

        And he clarifies that in that conversation with MSD he asked about a rewards program (like Facebook have), was told no, so he said ok here’s the information (and referred them to Ng).

  3. pane3lope piztaupe 3

    the buck stops with paula bennet. MSD have known for a year this was a problem and did NOTHING! how dare she pontificate about ‘vulnerable’ children when she herself has laid them wide open to abuse through her lack of action. now there will be an expensive enquiry, more jobs for the boys. MSD perpetually treats the poor as less than human, and this inattention to a serious problem illustrates that. after the natasha fuller debacle this privacy waiver was developed to try to intimidate people from speaking publicly and freely:

    Privacy Consent

    I authorise the
    Ministry of Social Development (and the responsible Minister) to
    publicly disclose information in response to any information I have
    given to the media, including any other information that is necessary to
    respond to questions arising from media coverage.

    it seems poor people have no human rights in nz
    »

  4. Hippynz 4

    Interesting that Paula can “refused to accept the conclusion” by ” the Privacy Commissioner”. She gets to choose what laws she obeys, yet every average non-MP person does not. The laws of the country should apply to her as well.

    • tc 4.1

      That’s what NACT does, laws are for the great unwashed not the elite wealth generating 1%’ers.

  5. LBC 5

    Bennett leaks so often they should make her Minister for Leaky Buildings.

  6. weka 6

    Yes Bennett is a vindictive cow who will use people for her own ends. But….
     
    Earlier this year the Privacy Commissioner concluded that Paula Bennett broke the law in leaking the private details of two beneficiaries. Bennett refused to accept the conclusion, and said that she could leak details again in the future. Sure enough she appears to have done so again.
     
    There is a difference between those women on the DPB and Ira Bailey. The beneficiaries have a legal right to not have information held about them by a govt department for a specific purpose used for another purpose or made public without their consent.
     
    Ira Bailey is a freelancing IT professional who contacted a govt department, possibly to acquire paid work, possibly just as a private citizen letting them know of a problem. If it’s the former, then while privacy might be the considerate and sensible thing to do, it’s not anything close to the kind of privacy rights established by the Privacy Act. Bailey is not a client of WINZ or the MSD. Nor is he a staff member. I doubt that the Privacy Act applies.
     
    I find it hard to believe that Bailey would be so naive to think that his identity would remain private once the story hit the media.
     
    Of course Bennett and co have just done NZ and the public sector a huge disservice. Who is going to want to notify them now if they discover a serious problem that would likely result in media coverage?

  7. ianmac 7

    Do not cross Big Momma Bennett. She will set the spy hounds onto you and you will have no defence when she leaks all over you. BEWARE!

  8. xtasy 8

    “PRIVACY? Huh, come on to me with bloody damned privacy”, Paula Bennett thinks and says.

    “I set the rules, and if you want to take me, my Ministry and WINZ on – sign at the dotted line, before we talk to anyone from the media, or you personally, about the criticism you dare to direct at us”:

    The following is the very link leading to the MS Word type OFFCIAL “privacy consent form” that MSD expect clients to sign, when they “dare” to talk to any media about “issues” with Work and Income or the Ministry. Only once such a consent is given, will MSD or WINZ consider answering to allegations or accusations, and then it will be ON THEIR TERMS! It is down-loadable from the main MSD website:

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/index.html

    That “consent form” – giving extensive authority to MSD/WINZ to disclose and say publicly virtually ANYTHING they consider “relevant” to matters raised (tickle your phantasy or imagination re what that means), it is also found and down-loadable directly via this link:

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/privacy-consent-form-feb-2011.doc

    In relation to having this form made available to certain media, someone mentioned the following person as one of those responsible for “privacy consent” and “media matters”:

    Nick Bohm – Media Advisor, National Media Team
    Phone: 0-4 978 4176 (direct) : 0-29 275 6993 (mobile) : 42176 (internal) : http://www.msd.govt.nz
    Ministry of Social Development, Bowen State Building, Bowen Street, PO Box 1556, Wellington 6140

    The text says:

    Privacy Consent

    I authorise the Ministry of Social Development (and the responsible Minister) to publicly disclose information in response to any information I have given to the media, including any other information that is necessary to respond to questions arising from media coverage.

    Name: …………………………………………………………………..

    Phone contacts including mobile: ………………………………………………..

    Signature: ………………………………………………………

    N.B – Recognising that people may find it difficult to sign and return this form in a timely manner, we will accept the consent form without a signature if we are satisfied that it has been sent from the individual’s email address.

    Send to reporter or fax 04 918 0066 or email nationalmediateam@msd.govt.nz

    The use of this particular form raises very serious legal questions. The text of the “privacy consent form” is highly inappropriate, so that even a lawyer described it as “shocking”. It basically gives the Ministry authority to PUBLICLY make available virtually ANY information considered “relevant” to a matter raised by a client to the media. This means the “wider public”, as I would understand it. NO advice os given that clients can legally use their own, clearer and more restrictive forms for giving consent to media and MSD or Work and Income.

    So does anybody WONDER, why these days, and after what Bennett did to the two solo mums three years ago, NOBODY DARES TO GO TO THE MEDIA AND RAISE ISSUES ANYMORE?!

    Someone said to me, the consent form text sounds like “implicit intimidation” and tells clients: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!”

    So much for the rights of individual clients!

    Thanks Paula!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1

      Someone should ask Steven Price (comments on media and privacy law on his blog) what he thinks about this. I’d like to hear what he makes of it all but sadly notice that he has avoided any comment on this issue so far.

  9. brybry 9

    Time to turn the tables and leak the leakers sordid past.

  10. captain hook 10

    so what about his sordid past.
    that does not mean if he tells the truth then it is not true.

  11. ropata 11

    I’m surprised that Imperator Fish posts haven’t appeared here more often. Here’s part of “A Day in the Life of Paula Bennett” 🙂

    2:12 pm

    I asked for a cappuccino, not a latte! It’s totally unacceptable that I am being treated this way by café staff. Let’s see how they like having all their financial records released to the public. I’m sorry if that sounds a little drastic, but they made the decision to serve me the wrong coffee.

    2:24 pm

    Called Peter to find out if I could get their IRD records. He burbled something about tax secrecy. God, he’s a boring old man.

    [lprent: I will see about getting some more reposted. I happen to know that the most assiduous repost editors are bogged down in work and/or family. I am in the former category. ]

  12. Jenny 12

    Vengence is mine saith the Paula

  13. Red Rosa 13

    And PB’s charm and generosity have won her a place on Facebook…

    http://www.facebook.com/PaulaBennettHasToGo

    • AsleepWhileWalking 13.1

      Ooooh, nice FB link! Thanks. Need to make that come up for everyone MUCH higher up on a page.

  14. captain hook 14

    I think she is a bit like mike tuson.
    she wouldn’t be able to get a visa to enter a civilised country.

  15. Lucy 15

    Just wondering if anyone here has actually heard of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 (aka the Whistleblower’s Act)? It seems that everyone’s just assuming that the message about the hole got lost somewhere in the last 18 months of bureaucracy. If any of the staff had known about this Act, would they have used it to blow the whistle on their bosses? I’ve written some more about this here: http://www.leftoutnz.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/msd-and-the-pda-aka-the-whistleblowers-act-wtfmsd/

    • xtasy 15.1

      Lucy: Honestly, your comment is on the more enlightening side here, and you may soon feel a bit “lonely”. Yes, there are some intelligent ones here too, but maybe they need a bit more “fodder” to be convinced by this comment.

      But yes, that is a piece of legislation that should be used and applied more, but as I read, it is only applicable of very serious cases, where there may be justification to go that far, to safeguard the public and department or agency in question to be protected from illegal activities and the likes. It is more for use of staff within.

      I presume though, and that is going my personal and other experiences, that the average and even higher ranked staff members within MSD and WINZ are not ones that have “nurtured” grey matter to the ultimate beneficial level, that rather are so grumpy due to low pay, internal PC and other limitations, they rather are pre-occupied with thinking badly and nastily about the clientele they are supposed to “help” and “look after”, they would have little inclination, idea or inspiration, to even examine the work environment they work under day by day.

      I feel almost certain, that they would have been too ignorant, too pre-occupied and plain dumb to realise what gaps existed. Outside contractors did detect the faults, but WiNZ staff and management were too up themselves to really bother looking into this thoroughly.

      I have pointed clear things out to many people, they would not get it, even if they fell over it!

      So it is like the blind leading the blind, which is what I see about me every day, as common behaviour in “Aotearoa NZ” (“sheeples” and “lemmings” may be best descriptors).

      Sorry, you are too smart to convince, they will NEVER get it, and DO NOT WANT to get it! Well admittedly some will, but they are the struggling minority trying to “drum” sense into the rest here.

      Good luck!

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    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
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    2 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
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    2 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
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    2 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
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    3 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
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    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
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    3 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
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    3 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
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    3 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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    7 days ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
    A new five-year funding agreement for the Reserve Bank will mean it can boost its work to protect New Zealanders’ finances, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand has a strong and stable financial system. Financial stability is an area that we are not prepared to cut corners for, particularly ...
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    1 week ago
  • Forgotten funds and missing money
    A law change has been introduced to make it easier for forgotten funds in institutional accounts to be returned more easily to their rightful owners. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has introduced an amendment to the Unclaimed Money Act 1971. It will update the rules controlling forgotten sums of money held ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers on mental health commitment
    The Government is delivering on election commitments and a key recommendation of He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction with the establishment of a permanent independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. Legislation enabling the establishment of the fully ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand privacy law modernised
    A Bill to replace New Zealand’s Privacy Act passed its third reading in Parliament today, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. “The protections in the Privacy Bill are vitally important. The key purpose of the reforms is to promote and protect people’s privacy and give them confidence that their personal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tourism operators provided extra support
    Extra support is being provided to tourism businesses operating on public conservation land announced Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today.  The Government is providing $25m worth of support to tourism operators impacted by COVID-19, with a decision to waive most Department of Conservation tourism related concession ...
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    1 week ago