4 May 2010

Labour wants Bennett inquiry to be made public

12:37 pm on 4 May 2010

The Labour Party says the outcome of a Privacy Commission investigation into the actions of the Social Development Minister should be made public.

The commissioner is investigating a complaint that Paula Bennett publicly revealed details of what state assistance two women were receiving.

Ms Bennett released the details about Jennifer Johnston and Natasha Fuller after they publicly criticised the Government's decision to cut back a training incentive allowance.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel helped Ms Fuller to lay the complaint, saying he thought the minister had shown poor judgement.

Ms Bennett says there is no timeframe on the investigation into her actions and no settlement at this stage.

"I'm just following the process that's laid down by the Privacy Commissioner, doing that with as much integrity as I can and trying to be true to the process."

Mr Chauvel says he has been contacted by Ms Fuller in the past few days asking for support.

"What she told me is that she's not interested in compensation - never has been. What she wants is for the minister to acknowledge that she caused her a lot of pain by giving those details in public.

"She'd like an undertaking that the minister won't do that to anybody else ever again."

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff says past settlements have included an apology, an assurance an action will not happen again, modest compensation or personal gestures, such as flowers or vouchers.