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Meetings May Be Part Of Privacy Process

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Paula Bennett
Paula Bennett

Recent media reports about a complaint against Hon Paula Bennett have speculated that meetings may be unusual during a privacy complaint investigation. Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff says that in fact it is not unusual for parties to a complaint to meet face-to-face as part of an investigation.

"We have a strong focus on conciliation," says Ms Shroff.

"The usual investigation process involves engaging with the parties to facilitate resolution. The Office will seek information from the complainant and the respondent and look for options to see if the parties can settle. This will often involve setting up meetings. A member of the Office may or may not be present depending on the circumstances."

"It's often more effective discussing the issues face-to-face than dealing with matters solely on paper or over the phone or by email. We try to keep the parties working closely together throughout the process," says Ms Shroff.

The Office has settled 26% of complaints during this financial year. Past settlements have included an apology, an assurance an action will not reoccur, modest compensation or personal gestures, such as flowers or vouchers.

"We maintain confidentiality for individual complaints as we are required to do under our statute."

Ms Shroff asks the media to respect the privacy of Natasha Fuller and Hon Paula Bennett with regard to a process which is still continuing.

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