Privacy Commissioner tells Bennett to pay up

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, May 27th, 2010 - 122 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits - Tags: , ,

For her own petty political purposes, Paula Bennett has put Natasha Fuller through hell.

She breached Fuller’s right to privacy by releasing her private information in a blatant attempt to punish her and silence critics like her who opposed Bennett’s canceling of the Training Incentive Allowance, which helped DPB mums get back into work (and which Bennett herself once used). The predictable and intended result was a torrent of bigoted abuse directed at Fuller that has forced her to move and caused her huge distress.

Any minister with any respect for their office would have resigned. Not Bennett.

Now (finally) the Privacy Commissioner has asked Bennett to apologise to Fuller for the damage she caused and pay her $15,000. It is a trifling sum for a person on a quarter of a million dollars a year (hell, her tax cut is half that much) but it would give some semblance of compensation for the damage she has caused.

Predictably, this awful person has refused. She shows no regret, no compassion.

Paula Bennett, you are a disgrace to your office and a disgrace to New Zealand.

122 comments on “Privacy Commissioner tells Bennett to pay up ”

  1. Sam 1

    Shame.

  2. big bruv 2

    “put Fuller through hell”?

    Get a grip, Fuller and her ilk are parasites.

    While she sits on her backside stealing from hard working Kiwis many of those same Kiwis are not earning anywhere near what she manages to rip off from the system every week.

    • well, well, well (3 holes in the ground) 2.1

      Here we go again big bruv:

      ‘The predictable and intended result was a torrent of bigoted abuse directed at Fuller that has forced her to move and caused her huge distress.’

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      No bruv, it’s you and you’re type that are the parasites.

    • joe bloggs 2.3

      spot on Bruv.

      Fuller’s a trougher who opened this whole can of worms when she posted the Trademe messages that started this in the first place. She boasted about getting over 1k per week and told others how to do the same – screwing over the tax payer.

      She was very public about what she was doing and how much she was paid and had made the info public. And she gave away her right to privacy when she went after Bennett through the media. The only humiliation Fuller’s experienced was as a result of being shown to be a liar and a trougher.

      She should remember that the next time she wants to play at being a Labour party meat puppet

      As for the torrent of bigotted abuse – oh cry me a river! – how could we forget Eddie’s and IrishBill’s descents into the abyss when they worked themselves into a frenzy over shoddy journalism from TV3

  3. BLiP 3

    I’d’ve thought $15 grand was a more-than-reasonable form of compensation for having your democratic right to criticise the government stomped all over by Basher Bennett. How much money is the Westie going to cost the tax payer for her mid-term Eisenhower Fellowship tiki tour? Ooooh – just the thought of her wearing some leopard print mini to the first meet-n-greet cocktail party makes me cringe – what on Earth will they think of New Zealand and our so-called leaders she she fronts up. Ick!

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      probably nothing worse than what they thought when helen clark wore trousers in the queens presence.

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        grow up

        • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1

          ah so BliP can comment on how others may percieve someones sense of dressing for an occasion, but no one else can? or is it because you don’t like Paula Bennet but you like Helen Clark, and vice versa for me, that makes me immature.

          do you ever feel confused about your own conundrums?

          • A post with me in it 3.1.1.1.1

            I am in total agreement with you. She probably wont wear that and it is her right to choose.

            It is when she opens her mouth that they will choke on their drink….

          • Ari 3.1.1.1.2

            BliP was talking about her car when he said “leopard print mini”. 😉

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Lol, the thought of someone getting upset over HC wearing trousers no matter the occasion seems so ludicrous.

        • mickysavage 3.1.2.1

          Even worse the taxpayer would no doubt pick up the tab for any payment, not Bennett personally.

          Boy the wingnuts are in dissaray today. First their hero is shown to have a blind trust that he seems to be able to see and now the pseudo westie chick is shown to be completely lacking in compassion.

          I wonder if the wingnuts would agree that as a principle the income details of the Business Round Table should not be disclosed because they commented on tax policy. If so then there is no difference here, other than the fact that Fuller has to rely on state support to get her though a tough patch.

      • Ms X 3.1.3

        I have never understood what was wrong with that – perfectly decent, the queen wears them herself, and this is the 21st century. No, got me beat.

    • starboard 3.2

      …you could say the same about Chris Carter mincing up with his husband Kaiser…” what on earth would they think of NZ ” when these 2 made an appearance on behalf of the country.

      • felix 3.2.1

        Well the decent people would think “There’s a Minister and his partner”.

        The bigots and fuckwits would think the things you’re thinking.

        • starboard 3.2.1.1

          no..they would think..” theres a mincer and his partner “..” wot sorta country is this noo zeeealand “

          • BLiP 3.2.1.1.1

            Dunno what sort of parties you go to – but would those comments be made before or after the cross on the front lawn was set alight?

            • mickysavage 3.2.1.1.1.1

              And would everyone be wearing pillow cases on their heads with holes cut out for their eyes?

              • Rex Widerstrom

                And then they’d get really drunk and embrace the guy next to them and start slurring “Y’know mate, I really love you mate, I do…” and then pretend to recall nothing of it the following morning 😀

                • pollywog

                  nah…starboard goes to parties where they chase the lil fella round the hut a few times, stab him a bit to get a frenzy going then throw a petrol laced tyre round his neck and set fire to it and blame it all on the lil fellas mates.

  4. I hope Gower gores her over this….Bennett that is. She inpromptu flusters really well on camera, almost as much as Key.

  5. JAS 5

    By releasing this latest information, Bennett is once again deliberately persecuting Fuller, generating further public ridicule that directly affects a woman and more importantly her innocent children.

    Did she learn nothing the first time? She cannot play innocent this time, she knows what happened last time, and knows the likelihood of the public attacking Fuller again over this latest information.

    The woman is below contempt in my opinion.

  6. big bruv 6

    So, you guys support this parasite stealing roughly $40,000 net from hard working Kiwis?

    • vto 6.1

      stealing? are you sure?

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        nah, he just feels comfortable defaming people that haven’t the resources to fight back.

        Still though, if this does end up going higher up the disputes food chain because the parties can’t reach agreement, then I imagine there are a few comment threads that could serve quite nicely as proof of her claims of the harm stemming from Bennets breach of the privacy act.

    • well, well, well (3 holes in the ground) 6.2

      I would assume that she is just getting what she is entitled to – do you have a problem with her entitlements big bruv? Claiming what you are entitled to is hardly the behaviour of a ‘stealing parasite’.

      • big bruv 6.2.1

        I sure as hell do have a problem with what she is ‘entitled to’

        The only thing she is entitled to is to get off her arse and get a job, any system who lets a parasite like her steal that much money from hard working Kiwis needs to be changed.

        • Akldnut 6.2.1.1

          Wake up and smell the fucking Roses Bruv – how long can you keep defending a nasty piece of crap like Bennett. your tired old lines must grow weary even on you.

          Captcha – Senses (about time you came to yours)

        • rainman 6.2.1.2

          Good luck to Fuller in finding a job after this – kiwi hiring managers tend to have a very unforgiving streak in them and any fame or notoriety is often a big black mark.

          And bruv, her getting “off her arse and get(ting) a job” kinda depends on there being jobs to get. I know all to well from my the experience of my family and many friends that this is not currently that easy a prospect, with little prospect for change in the near future.

          Asserting that all beneficiaries are lazy sods is the worst kind of lazy thinking.

          Captcha: competitions. A lot of that in the job market at the moment…

          • BLiP 6.2.1.2.1

            Good luck to Fuller in finding a job after this kiwi hiring managers tend to have a very unforgiving streak in them and any fame or notoriety is often a big black mark.

            Excellent point. Fuller might well have a case for on-going compensation or, at the very least, a ten-fold increase in the lump sum in lieu of lost earnings. Dig, Paula, dig.

            • Rex Widerstrom 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Proving it is another story, alas. The “we were pleasantly surprised by the number of highly qualified applicants” letters are sent, then the unsuccessful applicant gets to read, in the newspaper or online somewhere, how someone with half their experience got the job.

              Linking rejection to the many and varied (and usually quite strange and illogical) preferences of HR people is impossible though, as anyone who’s tried to initiate a formal hiring review will tell you. There’s always a plausible excuse to hand, from “didn’t think she’d fit in with the existing team” to “we were looking for someone with (something that was never mentioned in the ad or the selection criteria)”.

              edit: Ah, I see mutante has made much the same point below.

        • A Nonny Moose 6.2.1.3

          I love this whole “get off her arse and get a job rhetoric”. What do you think her concerns about losing the ACE was about? PB was REMOVING her ability to do so.

          But that’s ok. You keep sitting up there in your comfortable little ivory tower, wafting your hand at the peasants saying “get a job you scum, but don’t ask for any help, though I expect you to work long hours and abandon your family for very little pay. Har har my hypocrisy keeps me so warm at night!”.

        • Mutante 6.2.1.4

          GIT A JEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOB!

          Could you play a new record please?

          Maybe you can tell us how much of a hard working Koiwee you are and how that justifies your existence more so than a solo mother. She was getting her entitlements. Kids are expensive and they take a lot of time.

          Or perhaps you would like them to grow up with no parental influence at all so you can then pop a vein over them tagging your fence or whatever it is that you and the other wingnuts think is ending civilisation as we know it this week.

          • Mutante 6.2.1.4.1

            What’s worse for the unemployed is that the kind of bigoted wingnuts often doing the hiring often won’t employ beneficiaries, then turn around and tell the same beneficiaries to GIT A JEEEEEOOOB. Either they lack a sense of basic causality or they’re plain sadists who enjoy the sense of power they get sending the underclasses running around in circles.

          • Ari 6.2.1.4.2

            Affected accents aside, you’re 100% right. Besides, getting further education to be better qualified for a job is an excellent first step to long-term employment, which was exactly why she wanted the extra assistance.

            But apparently we shouldn’t go easy on people just because they’re actually TRYING to get a job. Whatever, righties.

    • Daveosaurus 6.3

      “So, you guys support this parasite stealing roughly $40,000 net from hard working Kiwis?”

      I didn’t realise that Paula Bennett was only paid $40,000 per annum.

      That’s still much more than the worthless waste of oxygen contributes in return, mind you…

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    I always thought Bennett was cheap but heck how cheap is she?

  8. Richard 8

    I notice that DPF and friends are spinning this that it is Fuller who is asking for the cash settlement, whereas the Stuff article seems to suggest that this is proposal of the Privacy Commissioner.

    Is there any clarity on which is the correct version of events?

    • JAS 8.1

      I wondered the same thing myself.

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      Either way, the privacy commissioner is aware, or soon will be aware that a cash settlement is in the offing. So presumably she would support such a settlement, or it would be shut down.

    • Yeah – the disparity between Kiwiblog’s take and Eddie’s take is interesting – I thought it an interesting insight into the “echo chamber” – with people focussing on the evidence that backs up their world view (on both sides):

      the Herald article syas:

      Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has attacked the integrity of a solo mother who is asking for $15,000 to settle a privacy complaint against the minister, after previously denying she wanted any money.

      Ms Bennett yesterday said she received a letter from Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff’s office last week, which had a request from Ms Fuller for $15,000 “to acknowledge her hurt and humiliation” and an apology for a breach of privacy.

      The NZPA piece on the Stuff website says:

      Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been asked to pay out $15,000 to a mum whose welfare information she made public.

      Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff’s office wrote to her last week suggesting the settlement, the New Zealand Herald reported.

      This suggests to me that we should rely on the Herald piece. But whether the Privacy Commissioner suggested the settlement or not doesn’t really have any impact on the underlying actions. Paula Bennett was way out of line and broke the law. That should be the focus, this is a sideshow.

      • jcuknz 8.3.1

        I suspect that both are questionable in though maybe accurate as far as they go they don’t tell the whole story which is typical of the sound bites that modern journalism consists of.

    • HitchensFan 8.4

      The latter….

  9. kriswgtn 9

    Maybe if the fathers who father these children took responsibility and put something on the end of it- we wouldnt have tha amount of solo mums eh

    Benefit is a disgrace and should be sacked

    You lot who defend her-you wait until your democratic right to even protest on anything is taken away

    You have the right to remain silent= no you actually dont anymore

    *smiles and waves

  10. big bruv 10

    “You lot who defend her-you wait until your democratic right to even protest on anything is taken away:

    We had that law, it was called the EFA, the Nact government got rid of it.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      yeah, I remember well all those EFA protestors being arrested and put in jail.

    • felix 10.2

      Whatever Bruv, you loved the EFA.

      Not often you get to march through the streets with a swastika eh?

      • TightyRighty 10.2.1

        classic. Do you think he went on the destiny march to get his black shirt uniform fantasies out too?

  11. Bill 11

    Since it looks as though there was no confidentiality attached to the compensation payment, then we are looking at $15 000 minus tax followed by a stand down for having assets over the allowable limit or some such.

    The point?

    No compensation for poverty. And poverty claws and rips its way back through any other corrective or compensatory financial consideration that may come to be paid for whatever reason. And that’s the law and our legislation that decrees that. The law makes it that poverty is constantly reinforced and poor people pushed back down into its clutches.

    You received a payout for hurt and humiliation? Thankyou very much says the tax and welfare departments.

    Earned some tens of bucks this week? Thankyou very much says the tax and welfare departments.

    Someone die and leave you a few bucks? Thankyou very much says the tax and welfare department.

    Got redundancy compensation? Thankyou very much says the tax (and until recently) the welfare department.

    Those in a better financial position do not have to hand their various compensations,should they receive any, back to the state to the same degree…only the tax and probably not even that if they have an accountant. So, in the face of locked in poverty being a feature of legislation, how do those arguments about wealth creation, rising tides lifting all boats and so on work again ?

  12. Richard said

    I notice that DPF and friends are spinning this that it is Fuller who is asking for the cash settlement, whereas the Stuff article seems to suggest that this is proposal of the Privacy Commissioner.

    Is there any clarity on which is the correct version of events?

    Happy to oblige Richard; here’s what the Herald story said:

    Ms Bennett yesterday said she received a letter from Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff’s office last week, which had a request from Ms Fuller for $15,000 “to acknowledge her hurt and humiliation” and an apology for a breach of privacy.

    Pretty simple really; the Privacy Commission has written to Paula Bennett passing on Natasha Fuller’s request for $15,000. Eddie must have missed that part 😉

    • Bright Red 12.1

      the stuff article says it was the Prvacy Commissioner’s recommendation.

      • The Stuff article is an NZPA article which paraphrases the Herald scoop.

      • joe bloggs 12.1.2

        and fuelled by Charlie Chauvel’s sticky fingers in the background – of course he’s backpedaling from this as fast as he can – he recognises a con-job I’ll give him that much.

        • Tigger 12.1.2.1

          What con job? Bennett released info she shouldn’t have released. What, did Fuller blackmail Bennett into breaching her privacy?

          • joe bloggs 12.1.2.1.1

            by her own admission Fuller was receiving payments she knew she was probably not entitled to and based on this, it was entirely inappropriate for Mr Chauvel to assist her.

            [lprent: Cite a relevant reference from the msm, I suspect that it is a wingnut myth because it’d be the first time I’ve heard it. In other words I suspect you of diversion trolling. ]

            • Pascal's bookie 12.1.2.1.1.1

              nonsense. Nothing the victim says justifies a minister breaching the privacy act.

            • mickysavage 12.1.2.1.1.2

              Even if this was true so what. Bennett trashed her rights to privacy.

              You wingnuts are so predictable. As soon as one of your kind is caught you attack the victim relentlessly, hoping that swinging voters will “see fault on both sides”.

              There is none. Bennett has acted appallingly. She should be fired as a Minister and then if there is any justice the good people of Waitakere will dump her as a MP.

              • Anita

                Not just trashed her rights to privacy, but heavied every other beneficiary. Bennett made it very clear that she will use the private information held my MSD to attack anyone who criticises government policy.

              • BLiP

                Speaking of which – did you hear Tau Henare calling Carmel Sepuloni the Member for Waitakere . . . much amusement ensued.

    • Richard 12.2

      So, I guess until (and unless) the Privacy Commissioner clarifies we only have Bennett’s word that Fuller is the original source of the request. We don’t know if, say, the Privacy Commissioner suggested compensation, and Fuller merely provided the dollar amount that she would be happy with. Or maybe vice versa.

      Even if the suggestion is entirely Fuller’s, it would seem that the Privacy Commissioner wouldn’t pass the request on if it was something that the Commissioner thought was inappropriate.

    • SHG 12.3

      Privacy Commission has written to Paula Bennett passing on Natasha Fuller’s request for $15,000. Eddie must have missed that part

      Dearie me, is it time for another round of Eddie getting caught out posting a “creatively edited” cut-and-paste as fact?

      • Bright Red 12.3.1

        Bennett breached Fuller’s right to privacy and compensation is due. All the rest is righties running interference.

      • mickysavage 12.3.2

        $15k is cheap. Bennett should pay up with her own money, apologise and pray for forgiveness.

        Perhaps if she had fessed up 6 months ago the need to engage lawyers and then seek compensation would have been avoided.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    My dad was made redundant and got >$100k because he’d worked at the company for some 16-17 years. He was ineligible for the unemployment benefit because of the payment, the way they calculated it is by taking the weekly payment he would’ve gotten under the benefit and deducting that from the redundancy payout until it balanced out, then he’d start getting the benefit. That worked out to 9 years.

    So instead of a redundancy payment actually being a reward for loyalty and additional money to help tide you over until you get a new job, the state sees it as income and won’t support you even though you’re unemployed.

    On the face of it, I agree that a stand-down period is probably appropriate, but it should be a length of time calculated based on your salary – so if you earned $40k/year and got $100k redundancy, you would have a 2 1/2 year stand-down before you could receive the UB.

    • Bill 13.1

      I too got caught out by a stand down period that was calculated on the size of my compensation. But I’m pretty sure the legislation has been changed since then..too late for thousands of us, but hey.

  14. Bill 14

    Was this process not meant to be confidential?

    If so, what happens to Bennett who has gone to the press with it ( as appears to be the case)?

    Anything?

    And all this extra hurt and humiliation resulting from Bennett’s actions?….. +$5k?

    More?

    Hope so. And can Bennett be instructed to pay as opposed to being requested to pay?

    • Not by the Privacy Commissioner (I think). I believe that would need to go to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, which is or may be the next step if agreement can’t be reached. The same consensual process operates in the Human Rights Commission (re discrimination) and other similar places.

      • Tigger 14.1.1

        Yes, if the PC decides she can refer it tot he HRRT who can make a binding order.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    What Graeme Edgeler said. Clearly Bennett abused her position.

    Inventory, are you happy with a Minister behaving this way?

  16. JAS 16

    Her chat with Marcus Lush on Radio Live today just ….. oh hell I better not actually say what I think, its not very nice, and I might be stooping to her level.

  17. frustrated 17

    Two bilious bitches a pox on both of them !

    • Bright Red 17.1

      and one’s your employee, a minister of the crown.

      • frustrated 17.1.1

        Indeed and both firmly attached to the taxpayers tit.

        • mickysavage 17.1.1.1

          And one gets way more than the other and is also obnoxious and breached the privacy rights of the other and does not have the decency to apologise. She deserves the pox first.

  18. PB obviously chooses what is part of the PC ‘process’ is private and confidential and what is not depending on what sort of political mileage she can get out of it.

    * Revealing that she had a meeting with Natasha was private and confidential and PB could neither confirm nor deny a meeting took place and what may or may not have been said because it is all part of the ‘process’.

    * Revealing that she received a letter from the PC and the contents of that letter are not private and confidential to the ‘process’ and proceeds to re-fuel the public vitriol that Natasha has to face.

    Indeed PB is not only continually flouting the privacy laws she is also stepping in to the realm of assassinating a private citizen’s character and allowing the NZ public to hang, draw and quarter her (Human Rights issue) without backing it up with real facts.

    She has publically stated that she does not care about basic laws as her recent public flouting of our laws shows, “Social Development Minister Paula Bennett admits that part of her welfare reforms breach the Bill of Rights Act but says it would not bother most people. “I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.” ”

    One more thing — the original issue was that the withdrawal of the TIA to eligible beneficiaries had a huge negative impact on the ability of these people to upskill and/or retrain and get off the welfare system and into productive employment – the ultimate aim of the MSD and, presumably, the Minister in charge of that department. At NO TIME did the people directly involved ever say that the benefit was deficient or did not provide enough to live on week-to-week. The amount of benefit paid to recipients was never called into question, the help provided to get people off their benefit in the long term was.

    PS: If Natasha had defrauded the benefit system don’t you think that this is the very first thing PB would have investigated and had Natasha in court? This hasn’t happened and won’t happen because Natasha, for all her ill-thought-out comments on various public message boards, has not done anything wrong BUT PB is preying on peoples’ basic gutter instincts to make them ‘believe’ that Natasha is the one who has done wrong.

    We have the inalienable right to protest injustice in our country but PB clearly has other ideas and sees it as her duty to squash this right and punish those who speak out. Shame on her and shame on her government.

    • Richard 18.1

      Even if Bennett didn’t explicitly direct her department to investigate Fuller for evidence of wrong-doing, you would think that once Fuller became publicly known that the department would do a bit of due-diligence to check that everything in Fuller’s case file was kosher.

      So, I agree that if Fuller had done anything wrong (or even vaguely contestable) in her claims for benefits, that she would be in court.

      Like all fraud, benefit fraud only works when nobody is looking very hard at your case.

  19. Blue 19

    Paula should shut up and take her lumps.

    The Privacy Commissioner obviously found that she was in the wrong. She stuffed up and she needs to take the consequences.

    No one forced her to abuse her position to for her own political gain. She got what she wanted out of it – a tide of public backlash against those women – and now she has to pay for it.

  20. Anita 20

    Is it normal for the process of resolving a complaint about a privacy breach to the played out in public?

    Would it be ok with everyone for me to start to make judgements about the people who have put this private matter into the public sphere?

  21. kerry 21

    Big P is a disgrace….and to TR the difference between Helen and Paula is Helen was decent and has morals and didnt crap on the people who are lest able to fight back…..Paula is a bully and obviously incompetent…..

    Paula had her fair share of benefits……milked the system and now is trying to stop anyone having the same as she did….perhaps she would like to pay back all benefits she collected over the years…..”do as i say, not as i do”!

    • TightyRighty 21.1

      a debatable point about helen clarks morals and affection for the little people kerry, but the question was on dress code. if you equate a dress sense with morals, your hardly one of the progressive ones are you?

  22. Bill 22

    I hadn’t realised that poor wee Paula was the victim in all this.

    She is, apparently the victim of a beneficiaries political skull duggery. So by apologising for breaching her privacy, Paula would be throwing herself at the mercies of this unprincipled perpetrator of unsavoury political machinations.

    From the last para of the Herald piece….”She (Natasha Fuller) has been trying to hold me responsible for what I think are political motivations and I’m not buying into it.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10647715

  23. big bruv 23

    “the difference between Helen and Paula is Helen was decent and has morals ”

    Ha ha ha ha, that is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time.

    • Tiger Mountain 23.1

      Ah, the whimp BB is back, there must be a leak in the plumbing.

      Paula Bennett is reprehensible both personally and for her bullying deeds. Dishes it out but can’t take it.

      • starboard 23.1.1

        Its ok Paula..I think you’re great and doing a top job..you get my vote sweetheart.

    • It is funny because Helen was also intelligent and compassionate and competent and was a really good PM and Minister. Paula shares none of these attributes.

  24. ianmac 24

    Like the anger generated against the ETS by National when in oppostion and Bennett’s trolling for anger against those on DPB, will bite her on her ample bum. Those who live by the sword……

  25. Bunji 25

    Over at Red Alert Carmel Sepuloni has pointed out that previously Paula Benefit had said she was unable to comment whilst this wasn’t yet settled. Guess she forgot about that.

    This is bullying of the highest order just continuing on. Shocking.

    Maybe Paula’s just embarrassed that it keeps coming up that she’s pulled the Training Allowance ladder up after her…

    Just like DonKey is pulling the state housing ladder up after him it seems.

  26. tc 26

    Posts such as this tend to bring out the true thinking of the right…..we’re in power so anything goes, screw process or fairness we’ve been waiting 9 yrs to bash those beneficiaries, reward our rich mates, screw the workers and sell off the family silverware.

    It’d wouldn’t be so bad if like sideshow they smiled waved and went ‘aww shucks I f’d up, sorry’ but the breathtaking arrogance from the likes of bennett/brownlee/smith/carter/tolley etc is the only behaviour they know.

    The polls seem to say NZ is waking up the the charade……for my grandkids sake I hope so,

  27. ghostwhowalksnz 27

    Great negotiation tactic , dont mention money till just before they think they have an agreement

    Natasha , thats the way to stand up to Bully Bennett

  28. How about this for a quote from Paula.

    Paula was previously reported as offering money to Fuller. She denied this but said the following:

    “I’m just following the process it’s laid down by the Privacy Commissioner, doing that with as much integrity as I can and trying to be true to the process.”

    So much for integrity!

    • kaplan 28.1

      Maybe that’s a bit harsh on her. After all she was being quite truthful.

      “…as much integrity as I can…”

      I’m sure it’s not her fault that the total sum of her integrity wouldn’t fill a thimble.

  29. Bunji 29

    As I’m sitting here waiting for my computer to do some database stuff, I’m left with just thinking…

    And I’m flabbergasted as to how Paula Bennett is going to get away with her gross breach of privacy. I realise that the time has long passed when she should have gone if she was going to go, but the British press would’ve eaten her alive.

    If it had been a member of the Business Roundtable campaigning for tax cuts and the government had released his tax statements showing he was using various legal tax avoidance measures (that he was ‘entitled’ to), the calls for heads to roll would’ve been louder (and they’d have had the lawyers to make sure heads did roll) and I can’t see how that’s practically any different from what Ms Bennett has done. (ie showing how someone personally is adversely, but legally, affecting the government’s coffers currently to silence a disagreement over policy)

    It’s shocking. The NZ media need to take a look at themselves.

    But not as much as Paula Bennett needs to man up and resign.

  30. tc 30

    “The NZ media need to take a look at themselves. “….they have and are quite relaxed about the vacant space marked ‘Integrity and even handed reporting’ which is next to the occupied space marked’ owners agenda’.

  31. starboard 31

    “Any minister with any respect for their office would have resigned”..

    yeah..like Taito did…or Benson Pope…or for that matter H1…

    • frustrated 31.1

      “Any minister with any respect for their office would have resigned”

      Any minister with any respect for the office ……….. ha ha haven’t see one of those for many a year about as much chance as a politician having respect for the public or vice versa.

      Reminds of that Whittakers chocolate advertisement.

  32. Adrian 32

    Is Bennet the one the resignation whispers were about that Trevor Mallard heard? That may explain the invective today. captcha… “owes” ….how do they do that?

  33. kriswgtn 33

    It was just on tv3- the way tv3 reported it was she (Fuller) has written a letter asking for 15k
    There was nothing to do with what was posted below

    “”Now (finally) the Privacy Commissioner has asked Bennett to apologise to Fuller for the damage she caused and pay her $15,000″”

    anyhow the pig needs to resign & go

    • Ari 33.1

      Pigs are clean, discriminating animals with a lot more relation to humanity and a lot higher standard of behaviour than the Minister has. Let’s not drag them into this.

  34. I think the Privacy Commission needs to clarify whether it was suggesting an reasonable outcome to Bennett or whether it was a direct request from Fuller, via the PC, to end the matter. A lot depends on the agreed process. It would be unlikely that Bennett was proscribed from talking outside of specifically confidential mediations, so her comments probably could be made without crossing the agreed boundaries. This despite her earlier bullshit about ‘respecting the process’.

    Her comments are bloody stupid though and I expect the eventual hurt and humiliation payment is likely to be above the 20k mark. By way of comparison, the average settlement in employment mediations is 5K, but in exceptional circumstances, such as bullying, sexual harassment and similar abuses, the H&H payments often hit the mid teens. Given that Bennett, is, in a sense, Fuller’s employee, it’s ironic that she is now comparable in compensatory terms to perverts and thugs. Her best bet is to settle ASAP before the next legal step plays out and she is ordered to pay compensation at a significantly higher level.

    Of course its only taxpayers money, so perhaps she doesn’t give a fuck.

  35. FWIW the Privacy Commissioner cannot order/recommend a compensation payment. Check the q&a section on its website.

    • True. Here’s the next step from the FAQ:

      What happens if a complaint can’t be resolved?

      If the Privacy Commissioner forms the opinion that there is an interference with privacy, she may refer the matter to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings. The Director will decide whether to take the complaint to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

      If the Commissioner forms the opinion that there has not been an interference with privacy, the complainant can still take the matter to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

      What can the Human Rights Review Tribunal do?

      The Tribunal makes a legally binding decision about the Privacy Act complaint. It hears the complaint afresh it is not bound by the Privacy Commissioner’s opinion.

      The Tribunal can award various remedies including:

      * a declaration that the agency breached the law;
      * an order preventing repetition of the breach;
      * an order to do something to rectify the breach;
      * damages.

      It can also make an award of costs against the losing party in a case.

  36. Frank 36

    Bottom line is paula bennett got the benefit and now she’s taking it away from others. she is a selfish, judgemental cow.

  37. JAS 37

    Interesting comments by a “top privacy lawyer” in todays herald

    The Privacy Commissioner has conveyed the complainant’s suggestion for settling the matter. If there was no basis for the complaint, she wouldn’t do that. The fact that the commissioner is still involved suggests that the initial action probably was a breach of the Privacy Act.

    “And in disclosing the correspondence, the minister has done it again. Releasing that material is arguably a fresh breach of privacy.

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