'Certainly no apologies' in Fuller saga
Wed, 15 Aug 2012 12:19p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Human Rights Commission has found Social Development Minister Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a beneficiary and she isn’t ruling out doing it again.
Ms Bennett released solo mother Natasha Fuller’s benefit details in 2009 after she protested the removal of the training incentive allowance.
The commission has told the minister she was wrong to do so but dropped the case because Ms Bennett wrote a letter acknowledging her regret.
In the letter she expresses her “regret at the personal cost” the ordeal caused Ms Fuller but says she was not wrong to release the details and did not breach her privacy.
This afternoon, she didn’t rule out doing the same thing if faced with the same circumstances.
“I’m not going to make a judgement on what may or may not happen or a decision I might make at the time,” she says.
Ms Bennett says there are “certainly no apologies” for Ms Fuller and denies a breach took place because there were no official proceedings against her.
“Why don’t you go to the director and have a good chat with him about it because it is his opinion,” she told reporters during questioning.
“We’ve been over it, it’s three years later, the letter’s been done and we’ve all decided to move on.”
The Human Rights Commission's director of human rights proceedings, Robert Hesketh, said he had agreed to close his file on the matter "on the basis of the minister's letter".
“The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties ... We have all agreed that the letter speaks for itself and we will make no further comment.”
Ms Bennett says it was important for public debate that the details were released.
But says she never intended to make Ms Fuller the target of “unpleasant, hurtful and personal” comments.
Watch the video for Ms Bennett’s response to questions from reporters
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16/08/2012 12:29:33 p.m.
Directors loosing investors money gets drag through the court, so there is no reason why beneficiaries who clearly bludged on the system can't be exposed. Bennett should be given a medal for taking the heat. The leopard coat is her trademark. She will not change her spots. Good on her!
16/08/2012 12:10:13 p.m.
Remember... Bill English and Paula Bennett have issued all beneficiaries with the following threat.
If National are doing anything illegal or wrong or morally reprehensible and you talk about it, then we will crucify you in the public arena... is basically the whole sordid story here.
English and Bennett are trying to silence beneficiaries with the promise of public crucifications.
That in itself is interfering with these peoples rights to freedom of speech... without fear of reprisal.
What she did was ruled a breech of privacy... so we already know what she did was wrong... she avoided a hearing by writing a letter.
She wasnt found not guilty.. she wasnt found to be righteous... Paula Bennett was found to be wrong.
16/08/2012 10:47:54 a.m.
@Brent what a load of twaddle.
How does you knowing all of this improve or fix the situation? do you think you have a right to know just because of your own self importance?.
Lets not forget that Ms Bennett instituted a witch hunt that yeilded absolutely no results.
I believe of all the dozens of people she investigated they all turned out to be receiving the correct entitlements.
Ms Bennett is a bully.... thats what this is about.
A woman who was given a little power who went on to majorly abuse it.
16/08/2012 10:15:30 a.m.
Reflective of the backstabbing management style of Winz staffers,very good reasons why people are locked on the dole.Name one employer who uses Winz management style to run there business?????.
16/08/2012 8:01:47 a.m.
The beneficiary in question went into the public domain with her whinge so it seems entirely appropriate that the Minister should do the same.The govt doesn't pay her benefit working people do, yes those saps you see stuck in traffic every morning. The comments seem out of kilter with everyone I've spoken to. I guess most dont work or are labour stooges.
16/08/2012 6:58:15 a.m.
@DAVID, Are you reading your own post mate, Lets say on this Occasion your RIGHT, Were does that leave any of your examples If the took the same approach as Ms Fuller, You must have had great sympathy when you heard Ms Fuller on the news releasing her side of the story, and how she was struggling to survive on the $500 a week on the Benefits she was receiving,
Did you think she was telling the truth, I Did.
So how did you feel when Ms Bennett came out the next day and said sorry Ms Fuller but in your hast to tell the public how hard done by you were you must have forgotten the other $600 you are receiving,
Don't no about you but I felt LIED too.
The grants are a different story, any money payed out of the public purse into a private grant is open to the Public to be scrutinise, These can be and are released. Ms Fullers $10000 Was information we could have asked for.
16/08/2012 3:36:01 a.m.
I never trust women who wear leopard print.
15/08/2012 10:57:57 p.m.
@Frustrated all tax payer sourced spending should be open book... firstly what difference would it make? none.
Secondly.. doctors, nurses, police, teachers, politicians... are all paid via tax payer sourced funds.
SO they will therefore under your logic have no right to privacy.
Again I ask... if you knew their names where they lived and how much they were getting paid... what difference would it make? again none.
What you are advocating is targetted descrimination... which is illegal.
15/08/2012 5:39:48 p.m.
Fuller was in also in the wrong... Getting more money than ppeople who have to work hard for a wage, then whingeing???
Those people were flabagasted that Fuller was taking so much, epecially when those hard workers also had families to support. Get real! All taxpayer-sourced spending should be an open boook, even the DPB!
15/08/2012 4:53:13 p.m.
There are no proceeding against her. Bennet she actually did nothing wrong you morons. Bennett did the correct thing and as a tax payer I hope she does it again. This beneficiary women made false claims about what she was getting from the tax payer and Bennett gave the details of what she was receiving and good on her. We need more accountability like this from our pollies, not PC claptrap. Kiwis sense of entitlement is astounding and reinforced by the welfare socialist who expect hand outs by the state without any accountability.
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