30 April, 2010
Minister rejects inaccurate claims
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is strongly rejecting inaccurate claims made on TV3 news last night that she offered money to settle a privacy complaint.
"These allegations are completely untrue," says Ms Bennett.
Ms Bennett says when approached by 3 News for comment about the story, the reporter refused to supply any detail whatsoever about the substance of the allegation being pursued.
"The subsequent story that money was offered by me to settle the complaint was unbalanced and untrue," says Ms Bennett.
Ms Bennett says in this morning's New Zealand Herald, the complainant was quoted as saying there had been no offer of money. When asked about the 3 News report, the complainant said: "None of that is true".
Ms Bennett says she is considering her legal options in light of the 3 News story and way the network promoted that story.
"As at this morning both parties involved in this issue have rejected the claims. 3 News owes the complainant and myself an apology," says Ms Bennett.
"During this complaint process my actions have been entirely appropriate and in line with Privacy Commission advice," says Ms Bennett.
"I am going through this process with integrity and honesty," says Ms Bennett.
Ms Bennett says the untrue story has generated a significant amount of comment and contact to her office from upset members of the public.