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Media Release 18 May 2011

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff announced today that she has extended the Christchurch Earthquake (Information Sharing) Code, which will now expire on 30 June 2011.

Following the Christchurch earthquake, the Privacy Commissioner issued a code of practice on 24 February 2011 to assist in the response. The code enabled those dealing with the emergency to share personal information to assist victims of the earthquake and their families, and to help in the coordination and management of the response. The code was scheduled to expire on 24 May 2011.

'Although the state of national emergency was lifted earlier this month, many extraordinary challenges continue in the current phase of the earthquake response,' said Ms Shroff.

'I see no long term need for this code of practice but agencies are letting us know that continuing the code for a short time will be helpful. The extension for just over a month will assist several departments that need the current code arrangements a little longer. We encourage them to use this time to update their processes drawing upon the experience of the last several months.'

ENDS

For further information contact: Cathy Henry on 021 509 735

Notes for editors: The Christchurch Earthquake (Information Sharing) Code 2011 (Temporary) and Amendment No.2, are both available on the Privacy Commissioner's website http://privacy.org.nz/christchurch-earthquake-information-sharing-code-2011-temporary/