Here’s Bennett’s answer to Chauvel’s question in the House yesterday:
Charles Chauvel: Was the Minister advised that the individuals concerned had given implied consent to the release of their personal information; if so, on the basis of what precedent; if not, why did the Minister not take advice on that point?
Hon PAULA BENNETT: I looked at the guidelines that were on the Privacy Commissioner’s website. …
Mr SPEAKER: … there was a specific question about advice, and I think the House deserves to be given an answer on whether or not advice was received.
Hon PAULA BENNETT: As I stated in my answer, I certainly referred to the guidelines for Ministers that are on the Privacy Commissioner’s website. I felt that that was adequate.
Then just a few hours later on Campbell Live her story changed (first two minutes of the embedded clip below):
There are Ministerial guidelines… I looked at them before I did it and took some advice… I certainly took advice before I [released the information]. … [The advice was] from my office. I’ve got people there to give me this sort of advice and I took that advice. And I certainly was told that it had been done before and I certainly saw the piece that came off the website.
Sounds like there’s a way to go before the full story comes out.
I’d be particularly interested to know whether the Parliamentary internet access logs support her story that she accessed the Privacy Commissioner’s website before releasing the personal information of the women involved. And from whom did she take advice and when – exactly?