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Latest in Media releases and statements

Displaying 241 - 260 of 268

Revised code of banking practice - draft - letter

Letter to the Hon Sir Ian Barker QC, Assessor by Blair Stewart, Assistant Commissioner

26 November 2001

Hon Sir Ian Barker QC
Code of Banking Practice Review
P O Box 268

Dear Sir Ian


I refer to Errol Lizamore's letter of 26 October 2001 enclosing a revised draft code for comment.

As the New Zealand Bankers' Association has generously allowed until 1 March 2002 for comment,...

Statement by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane re Carol Shaw

for the Dominion dated 21 December 2000:

Your report identifies the Privacy Act as a principal failure in the events which led to the death of Carol Shaw. Rather, the coroner has pointed to the need for there to be a general 'duty to warn' which is at present not the common or statute law in New Zealand. He takes it further by recommending that the Health Act be amended to require certain disclosures to be made automatically on the discharge of a patient. As the coroner...

Proposed Amendments to the Privacy Act - addressing question of adequacy under EU Data Protection Directive

On 12 December 2000 the Statutes Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament. It will amend the Privacy Act 1993 to secure a finding from the European Commission that New Zealand's law provides an 'adequate level of protection' for the purposes of article 25 of European Union Data Protection Directive.

The New Zealand Privacy Act is already well regarded as being the most comprehensive national privacy law outside Europe. However, in a detailed study report the Privacy Commissioner id...

Health Waikato Investigation

A complaint made against Health Waikato Ltd by a young Fijian student involving a breach of her privacy has now been settled, says Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane. The exact settlement figure is confidential but it will be sufficient to enable her to complete her education course in New Zealand.

The complaint involved allegations that sensitive health information about the young woman, in New Zealand on a student visa, had been disclosed to her family by a nurse who was also a distant...

Wanganui project statement

Statement for the Wanganui Chronicle - Simon Waters by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane

I will be watching the Wanganui project with interest.

There are a number of matters which need to be borne in mind in the installation and operation of closed circuit television cameras for population surveillance.

It is important that they are installed only in areas where there has been abnormal incidence of crime rather than merely erected 'to give people confidence'. The latte...

Deportation action by NZ Immigration Service

Media Statement

I have decided to open a Commissioner initiated investigation into the particular case which has become public in the last two days.

The investigation will be to establish whether there has been an interference with the privacy of the family concerned brought about by a failure to observe information privacy principle 8 which reads:

'An agency that holds information shall not use that information without taking such steps (if any) as are, in the...

So doing business with the EU doesn't matter to New Zealand

Letter to the National Business Review

The Manufacturers Federation apparently doubts there is any advantage in amending the Privacy Act to get on a European Union white list of countries with adequate data protection laws. The need for change is that the EU directive on transborder data flows of personal information is starting to take effect and could cause extra costs and problems for our companies doing business with EU countries.

If our laws were slightly changed we wou...

Letter to the Editor - $10,000 Damages from Police to Woman

Letter to the Editor, Sunday Star Times by B H Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Dear Sir/Madam

Congratulations on reporting the decision of the Complaints Review Tribunal awarding $10,000 damages against the Police. The woman in this case was a victim. The case was about the way in which the Police treated the personal information of a victim. The decision is therefore a timely reminder to Police to have appropriate regard for victims' privacy. As you have reported, the Privacy Act...

Private Investigators Methods Unfair

Tactics employed by private investigators have come under scrutiny by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane.

After separate investigations into three complaints concerning the ways in which they went about collecting information, the Commissioner said that in one case the private investigator's methods had not been unreasonably intrusive or unfair, but he expressed concern about the other two.

The Commissioner cleared the ACC and a private investigator it employed to check on a cl...

Privacy Commissioner cautions MPs on mobile phone legislation

Members of Parliament should hesitate before accepting novel recommendations of the Select Committee which will enable prison officers to intercept mobile telephone calls.

The recommendation of the Justice and Law Reform Committee appears to anticipate problems about the use of mobile phones without having publicly explored other means for dealing with the problem. The Committee should inquire into the state of prison security which allows access to hidden cellphones in prisons and seek...

Publication of Cockpit Voice Recording Complaint not Upheld

A union complaint on the release of a cockpit voice recording transcript by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission has been turned down by the Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane.

The Airline Pilots Association complained to him about the Commission's report on the 1995 Ansett Dash-8 crash, near Palmerston North, which contained excerpts from the transcript and attached an edited version of the transcript.

The edited transcript did not include anything said by the pilots wh...

'Because of the Privacy Act...' may be challenged

Businesses and government agencies who fob people off with references to the Privacy Act may well get a call from the Privacy Commissioner's office. The Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane, is inviting people who believe they have had the Privacy Act wrongly cited to them to contact his Privacy Hotline to check out the situation.

'My enquiries officers will say if they think the Act has been correctly used and why. If that seems not to be the case, they will ask the caller for details in...

Letter to the Editor - Too costly?

Letter to the Editor, Evening Post, By Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Your report (December 16) on WINZ and benefit fraud states that data-matching, 'is under fire from the Privacy Commissioner for being too costly... '.

It is not.

B H Slane
Privacy Commissioner

Letter to the Editor 'Deter benefit fraudsters'

Letter to the Editor, Dominion, by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner


Your editorial 'Deter benefit fraudsters' (December 7) misrepresents my position in relation to the many information matching programmes at present being conducted under the Privacy Act. You accuse me of chafing against data matching, of possibly obscuring its importance or weakening publi...

Proposed Amendments to the Health Information Privacy Code 1994

Statement by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner, December 1999

I have given notice of my intention to amend the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 by :

  • adopting a new definition of 'hospital';
  • updating reference to various agencies and statutes;
  • expressly covering accident insurers and agencies which provide health, disability, accident or medical insurance claims management services;
  • including the Department for Courts as the department responsib...

Privacy and Children, Letter to the BSA

Letter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, by Bruce Slane, Privacy Commissioner

Dear Sir/Madam


I write further to my letter of 10 August 1999.

As mentioned in my letter, I did not wish to limit my comments solely to the additional wording that the Authority is proposing. Comment is also needed on 'principle vii'.

Existing principle vii

The Authority's principle vii states:

'An individual who consents to the invasion...

Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999

Complaint by the Privacy Commissioner concerning requirements imposed by the Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999 relating to ethnicity information about identifiable individuals

Incorporating corrections made on 3 June


Pursuant to clause 198 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives I complain in relation to clause 9(e) of the Accident Insurance (Insurer Returns) Regulations 1999 as I believe it trespasses unduly on personal rights...

Review of Privacy Act Released

Rt Hon Doug Graham MP, Minister of Justice, today tabled in Parliament the Privacy Commissioner's report on the review of the operation of the Privacy Act. The report is the first review since the Act came into force.

Mr Slane said the comprehensive review had concluded that the Privacy Act was soundly based and worked well in practice. However, 154 recommendations had been made to improve the Act's effectiveness and reduce compliance costs.

'I consider the Act is firmly on the ri...

Protecting Personal Information on Public Registers

People should be given the right to have their names deleted from direct marketing lists, Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane said today.

'We have a lot of complaints from people saying they have asked and asked to be taken off direct marketing lists, but it has not been done. While leading companies in the field will carry out these requests, others won't unless there is a law.'

Mr Slane said the report recommended that people should be able to require deletion of their names from s...

Warrants Proposed for Video Surveillance

Police should in future be required to obtain warrants for covert video surveillance, Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane said today.

Mr Slane said that under New Zealand law it was an offence to intercept a private conversation between two other people. But it is not an offence not to videotape them without recording the sound.

'A video is a specifically intrusive device because it not only captures things in a general way. It also captures a lot of detail. Very often it will includ...