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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "Maori guide to the Privacy Act" [1994] PrivLawPRpr 93; (1994) 1(6) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 115

Maori guide to the Privacy Act

Te Puni Kukiri - Ministry of Mauri Development The Privacy Act 1993 - Te Ture Matatuakiri, Matatupa 1993 PO Box 3943 Wellington, 1994

This 26 page booklet is ''a guide for Mcori wanting to know more about their information privacy rights under the Privacy Act', and is likely to be of interest to anyone concerned with the Privacy Act 1993 (NZ) because of its clear explanation of the principles and operation of the Act. It also provides valuable insight into Mcori views on the use of personal information:

Mcori view their personal information as a taonga something to be used and treated with respect. Personal information belongs to a person who is part of a whanau, hapu and iwi. Maori continue to identify with this information when it is discussed or published, even after it is organised into statistics. That's because statistics about Maori are about grandparents, parents, uncles and aunties, brothers and sisters, cousins and the rest of the whanau. They are not ''unidentifiable individuals in the usual sense.

Mcori, therefore, often have considerable skepticism and discomfort about the use of personal information because of the way it has tended to be used in the past. Generally, once information has been given, Mcori have experienced little control over and lack of opportunity to manage that information. Furthermore, personal information has often been used in a negative way that reflects badly on Mcori and has added little to the positive debate on Mcori development issues.

As a consequence, Mcori have become very distrustful of giving out information to academic researchers, government departments, other iwi, and health professionals alike.


Te Puni Kukiri - Ministry of Mauri Development has also published Privacy of Health Information - Te Matatuakiri me te Matatapu o Ngc Kurero Hauora (1994) which takes a similar informative approach to the Health Code of Practice 1993 (the interim Code, now replaced by the Health Information Privacy Code 1994). This publication also contains the complete Information Privacy Principles in Mcori, which the Privacy Act booklet does not.

Graham Greenleaf

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