I’m no expert in these things but Paula “bully” Bennett appears to have put herself in breach of the cabinet manual by disclosing private information about her critics’ personal finances for her own political gain.
Cabinet Manual p 117:
8.60 The disclosure of information about an individual by Ministers is governed by both the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993.
(c) A release by a Minister of information about an individual, in the absence of a request for it, is governed by Principle 11 of the Privacy Act 1993. That principle allows only limited situations in which it would be appropriate to disclose personal information; for example:
– if the disclosure is directly related to the purposes for which the information was obtained;
– if disclosure is authorised by the individual concerned; or
– if disclosure is necessary to prevent a serious threat to public health or the life of another individual.
Breaching the cabinet manual is a serious matter. The appropriate course of action would be for Bennett to resign. Or, if she refuses to, for the Prime Minister to sack her.