22 June 2010
'I have closed my investigation of the privacy complaint made by Natasha Fuller about the actions of Hon Paula Bennett,' Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff said today.
'Unfortunately the parties did not reach a settlement on the privacy issues in this complaint.'
'In my view the complaint has sufficient substance for me to refer the matter to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings, and I have contacted him accordingly,' the Commissioner said.
The Director considers afresh matters referred to him.
'I will therefore be making no further comments about the complaint, in order to protect the integrity of the Director's processes and the privacy of the individuals involved.'
'Because aspects of the matter have been in the public domain, and the subject of widespread public questions and comment, I am making this statement about the outcome of my investigation, with the knowledge of the parties involved,' the Commissioner said.
Contact: Cathy Henry, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, 021 509-735
Note for Media
Where we believe a complaint has substance and we have been unable to settle it, we may decide to refer it to the Director of Proceedings. His role is independent of the Privacy Commissioner and he will decide whether or not proceedings ought to be issued in the Human Rights Review Tribunal. This is a separate process from our complaints process and all hearings are commenced and heard afresh. The role of the Tribunal is to make a final determination about the substance of a privacy complaint.
The Director and the Tribunal do not consider the outcome of the Privacy Commissioner's investigation except for the fact that a complaint has been investigated. The Privacy Commissioner protects information about her investigations under the confidentiality provisions of the Privacy Act.
The complainant Natasha Fuller has asked the Commissioner's office to convey to the media that she will be making no public statements on the issue. Any enquiries should be directed to her legal representative Joanne (Wattie) Watson of Hamilton.