An employment lawyer says it is not at all surprising a real estate company has sacked one of its employees for leaking confidential sales data.
Barfoot and Thompson yesterday confirmed one of its staff members leaked information over several months to groups including the Labour Party.
Labour used the sales data to claim property speculators from China are causing Auckland house prices to rise.
It said the figures showed people with Chinese names accounted for nearly 40 percent of the 4,000 houses sold by the real estate company in the three months to the end of April.
Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the individual he worked with wanted to shine a light on a very real issue.
"The whistleblower came to me out of a sense of public interest.
"The person's motivation was that they see a massive presence of off-shore speculators snapping up New Zealand's homes and pushing up house prices higher and higher."
He said Barfoot and Thompson's actions were disappointing.
"Our legal advice was that there's no question of a breach of the Privacy Act."
But employment lawyer Peter Cullen said the staff member was not a whistleblower, and was justifiably sacked.
He says the leaks would not be covered by the Protected Disclosures Act.