14 Feb 2011

Suppression breaches investigated

5:45 pm on 14 February 2011

The judiciary is investigating how the suppressed names of two sex abuse victims ended up online in a court judgment.

The names were posted in a sentencing decision on the Courts of New Zealand website for a day, before the error was discovered.

Justice Minister Simon Power told Morning Report the judge sent the decision to officials with no suppression orders on it and marked to publish.

Mr Power says he deeply regrets the mishap, and one of the victims was very gracious when the Ministry of Justice called to apologise on Sunday night.

Mr Power said he will also ask an independent expert to examine the ministry's processes.

Labour blames Govt job cuts

Labour says the Government needs to take some blame for a breach of name suppression by the Ministry of Justice, because its cuts to the public service are putting people under undue pressure.

The names of two sex abuse victims, which are automatically suppressed by statute, were posted on the Courts of New Zealand site as part of a sentencing decision.

The ministry says the names were online for a day before the mistake was discovered.

Mr Power called officials into his office for an explanation on Sunday night. He says the situation is totally unacceptable.

Labour says National's cuts to back office jobs have put the remaining personnel under pressure.

MP Carmel Sepuloni says public service cuts mean employees are under more pressure, so are more prone to making mistakes.

Ms Sepuloni says that means mistakes such as this one will become more common.