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New Zealand: Select committee publishes report on protection of whistleblowers bill

The Education and Workforce Committee of the New Zealand Parliament published, on 29 March 2021, its report on the Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill, which was first introduced in 2020 to replace the Protected Disclosures Act 2000. In particular, while the Committee recommended the Bill to be passed, it also proposed a number of amendments to be incorporated, including strengthening the meaning of 'serious wrongdoing' and clarifying the application of the Bill on both public and private organisations.

Furthermore, the Committee advised that the Bill should require a receiver of a protected disclosure to inform the discloser if their information has been released under certain circumstances. More importantly, the Committee proposed an additional provision to ensure the confidentiality of personal information under the Privacy Act 2020, which would in turn allow the Privacy Commissioner to investigate breaches of the same.

The Bill and the proposed changes will now be considered by Members of Parliament.

You can read the report here and track the Bill's progress here.