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Whale Oil definitely Beef Hooked

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Cameron Slater, aka Whale Oil, has never been a journalist in any sensible sense of the word. That’s despite the shameful Canon media award he received for wallowing in the sordid details of a mayoral affair. And it’s despite the High Court ruling that for the purposes of the Evidence Act, he could be treated […]

Is it possible that Todd Barclay did not commit an offence?

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Newsroom has done a terrific job of trying to get to the bottom of the allegation that National MP Todd Barclay secretly recorded his former electorate agent Glenys Dickson. Newsroom claims Barclay left a dictaphone in the Gore electorate office and recorded Dickson’s side of phone conversations. It suggests that he may have recorded conversations […]

Throwing the book at the Chief Judge II

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Former Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane also criticises the High Court order requiring Kim Dotcom to seek documents from author David Fisher under the Privacy Act so that he can turn them over to the Crown. But he takes a different tack to mine. He argues (very persuasively, I think) that these documents are not really under […]

Throwing the book at the Chief Judge

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

News media activities are exempt from the strictures of the Privacy Act, which generally requires that people gather information directly from those concerned, explain what they’ll do with it, keep and securely, and don’t use or disclose it for unauthorised purposes. The Privacy Act also allows those affected to access information about them, and seek to correct […]

Information-sharing by the government: deja vu

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Radio NZ is reporting that: The Government is considering a massive expansion of data-sharing between ministries and agencies and has asked the Treasury to assess the potential impact on people’s privacy. This seems to be a closely-related extension to the recent information-sharing legislation, which was preceded by a ministerial briefing on information-sharing by the Law Commission. […]


Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I confess I’m entirely befuddled by the Dominion Post’s front-page lead on Saturday, “Prosecution for breaching paedophile’s rights”. Can someone help me out here? Isn’t the story conflating the Commission with the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, an independent office within the HRC? But why is the Office of Human Rights Proceedings bringing a “prosecution”? […]

Parting the clouds

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Befogged by this cloud computing stuff? The Privacy Commissioner offers some advice.

We don’t need no stinking press regulation

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The Herald’s lawyer, Alan Ringwood, argues that we don’t need any statutory press regulation in NZ. Don’t listen to Levenson, he says. We don’t need to go there. (Full article here). I guess it’s not a news flash that the Herald’s lawyer would oppose statutory restrictions on the Herald. But I’m interested in his argument. […]

Of sneaky devices

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

John Key’s cunning plan to send a signal to the troops by sitting down for a cuppa with Act’s John Banks may have come undone by another sneaky device. It seems that the conversation was recorded and may contain “game-changing” comments, according to the Herald on Sunday. The paper says a freelance cameraman was stopped from […]

Information sharing recommendations

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

New Zealand’s laws setting out what information government agencies are able to share with each other is a bit chaotic. In the Brown case, the judge noted with alarm that the Department of Corrections had cited the Privacy Act for its refusal to share information about a recently released convicted pedophile with Police in the locality he’d […]

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