12 Nov 2011

No decision yet over Bennett privacy complaint

5:43 pm on 12 November 2011

The Human Rights Commission says no decision has been made about whether a case will be taken against the Social Development Minister over a privacy complaint taken against her.


The complaint centres on National Party MP Paula Bennett publicly releasing the details of state assistance given to a single mother.

Last year, the Privacy Commissioner referred the complaint to the Human Rights Commission after failing to resolve it.

A spokesperson at the commission says director Robert Hesketh is assessing how best to resolve the case, saying it involves legal issues under the Privacy Act that have not been considered before.

Mr Hesketh is considering whether to take a case against Ms Bennett.

The spokesperson says legal discussions have been going back and forth between the parties, including Ms Bennett's lawyer.

Paula Bennett's office says she cannot comment while that process continues.

National Party leader John Key says he will contact the Human Rights Commission to find out why it is talking to the media and not his office about the investigation.