29 Mar 2012

Minister refuses release of documents about welfare changes

9:15 pm on 29 March 2012

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has refused to release documents on the implementation and costs of major welfare changes by the Government.

Radio New Zealand made an Official Information Act request for copies of advice and correspondence to the minister from the Social Development Ministry, for the first two months of this year.

But Paula Bennett says compiling the large amount of information captured by the request would require staff to be removed from their usual duties.

She says it would also not be in the greater public interest to do so.

The minister has also refused to release information on the cost of the package and advice from the Treasury about this stating this information related to the Budget process.