DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received

  • Hon Brooke van Velden

“On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.

“I raised my concerns after being made aware of online social media activity by the Department’s Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) Maria Robertson. Specifically, interactions with international DJ Fred Again’s post for assistance in obtaining a passport for a New Zealander.

“I wanted to be assured that there was no breach of privacy and preferential treatment given to the applicant by the DCE and asked the Chief Executive to examine this.

“I have now received the report and I am pleased to see that the correct processing procedures were followed, and that no preferential treatment was given. The report does however identify that errors were made by the DCE around the privacy of the applicant. However, the Privacy Commissioner has assured that no feasible harm occurred as a result of this privacy breach.

“My expectation has always been very clear that all New Zealanders applying for passports be treated equally regardless of their public status, and I am pleased to see that this has occurred in this case. My next expectation is that privacy of individuals is respected no matter their public status.

“My understanding is that the Chief Executive will now take on board the recommendations of the report.

“I am pleased for the applicant in this case that she was able to receive her passport in time for her requirements through the process which is available to all New Zealanders,” says Ms van Velden.

The Minister’s Office did not play any part in the urgent application process.

The Minister requested the report be made public and it can be found on the Department’s website, here.

/Public Release. View in full here.