27 May 2010

Minister refuses request for payment over complaint

4:13 pm on 27 May 2010

Social Development Paula Bennett has refused a request for $15,000 compensation to settle a privacy complaint lodged against her, saying there is no reason why she should pay.

The Privacy Commissioner is investigating the complaint after Ms Bennett publicly revealed details of state assistance received by two women.

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

The minister says she received a letter from the commissioner's office last week relating to Ms Fuller's case which included a request for compensation and an apology for breach of privacy.

Ms Bennett says she has no intention of paying and is surprised by the request, given that Ms Fuller had earlier said she was not seeking money as a settlement.

Ms Fuller could not be reached for comment on Thursday.