Newsroom: Crisis looms without privacy funding

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Parliament is considering sweeping changes to our 25 year-old privacy laws — but some fear they will only add to the long backlog of cases before the Human Rights Review Tribunal, Thomas Coughlan reports. 

The Human Rights Review Tribunal wants more resourcing before changes to New Zealand’s 1993 Privacy Act come into force.

The Tribunal’s troubles are well known. Even after being allowed to take on additional staff, it still only employs 1.6 full-time equivalent case managers.

Tribunal chairman Rodger Haines calculated that even if the Tribunal employed six staff, it would take five years to clear the backlog of current cases, while staying on top of the 70 or so new cases that land on its desk each year.

Understandably, when appearing before the Justice Select Committee today, Haines was keen to impress upon the MPs the importance of adding resource to the Tribunal before beefing up its already overwhelming workload.

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