Leaked property data a breach of privacy?

Labour won’t say if the leaked prioperty data they used was obtained legitimately, but claim it was leaked by a whistle blower.

Newstalk ZB’s political editor on Twitter:

Asked Labour if it obtained it’s real estate data legitimately. @PhilTwyford says he can’t answer that question.

Twyford says info supplied by a whistle blower & legal advice sought before it was released.

If it was leaked illegally it could be serious for Labour, they will struggle to justify there was sufficient public interest, especially considering the lack of definitive conclusions from the questionable data analysis.

NZ Herald reports Editor: Labour’s claims racistMeanwhile, Barfoot & Thompson chief executive Wendy Alexander said the company would start its own investigation to identify if it was the source of the leaked data. Barfoot sells one-third of Auckland properties and managing director Peter Thompson said if the data did belong to the firm it had been given illegally.

“We don’t know whether it’s our information. We’re just seeking advice on any steps we need to be taking if it is our data. That’s all I’m prepared to say.”

Mr Thompson released a detailed memo to all staff yesterday, warning they must not disclose any internal figures and must act in the interest of their vendors.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards said people could lodge a complaint to the commission for possible breach of information.

“If the source of the home buying data is established, people who think their personal information has been included can make a complaint to my office and we will look into it.”

Meanwhile Andrew Little continues to defend the use of the data, despite admitting the use of it was “a bit crude’.

It has been more than a bit crude from Labour.

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24 Comments

  1. Pete Kane

     /  14th July 2015

    No one questions that it isn’t B&T do they? If so that’s the second major Auckland property news story for the weekend. In fact I would consider it legitimate (almost appropriate) for any news outlet covering the initial story to use the tern “understood to be…”, such is the state of evidence (on average representing 1/3 of all Auckland house sales).

    Reply
  2. Labour will argue Public Good if challenged and they will have every Leftie leaning lawyer lining up to argue the case for them if any complaints are laid…. property is a bourgeois concept Pete and doesn’t have meaning in a lefties mind, unless its their property then its different…

    Twyford and Little have raised a valid point: is hot offshore money distorting and over inflating the Auckland property market. They have just done it in a very poor manner, race baiting and pointing at the ethnic Chinese as the culprits. Pointing the bone at Offshore Speculators doesn’t have the resonance of targeting one racial group. Its Winston territory…

    Hopeful they get no poll bounce form a calculated tactic based on fear and scaremongering…and hopefully National doesn’t feed into the wedge tactic by going too full on in their criticism of Labours race baiting….

    Reply
    • kiwi_guy

       /  14th July 2015

      But obviously “Offshore Speculators” is just code for Chinese borrowing cheap Yuan and then sneaking it out of China by various schemes and sinking it into high yield investments like Auckland property.

      It might be moot soon anyway with the spectacular crash in China – only partially delayed by heavy handed Chinese government can kicking.

      Reply
      • Offshore speculators is just that speculators from offshore… not code for anything. Fact is it will include a bunch of people getting money out of the PRC anyway the can, but it could just as easily be the straw people put up as buyers of Samurai Bonds and Euro Kiwi issues back in the day i.e. the Tokyo housewife and the Belgian dentist…

        If we have real data about what the country of origin of housing speculators was, we could have a balanced discussion about what it means. Instead we have a flame war because Labour, who proudly brought us the China FTA, decided to say its all pointing at the offshore Chinese as the problem.

        Heck it could be wealthy Malaysians of Chinese descent for all Labour know from their rather raw data analysis – it was dumb going with broad based ethnic profiling when the real issue about all offshore based speculation in our housing market is a much easier target and one the Nats have a hard time deflecting

        Labour have made headlines for all the wrong reasons

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  14th July 2015

          It could be someone whose family has been here since 1860 as some have. A Chinese-Kiwi friend’s family were here long before mine came.

          It could be Pakehas called Lee and Young. Many are. The writer Laurie Lee was English.So is an elderly Mrs Lee near me.

          Reply
  3. Lets get this straight! Labour spokesman says he does not want to answer a question as to the legitimacy of the information being obtained, but it was obtained from a “whisteblower”. Does it mean that he knows the information’s source was a genuine “whistleblower” that implies a legitimate use of information being used to highlight information of real public interest which otherwise would not be in the Public Arena? if the spokesman knows enough to claim “whistleblower” protection, then he must know who the source was and therefore must be able to judge whether or not the information was obtained legitimately. One has to conclude that like the Hager case, Labour is content to use illegally obtained information for political purposes which is in itself a criminal act. Receivers of stolen material are just as guilty as the thief!

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  14th July 2015

    It is certainly a breach of privacy and probably a gross breach of employment conditions by some staffer or contractor. We know the Left need have zero ethics because everything they do has a higher purpose which is the same reason they hate everyone who disagrees with them about anything.

    So jail time is about the only sanction they would understand. Fines are useless because they don’t need to work to get money from the taxpayer.

    Reply
    • kiwi_guy

       /  14th July 2015

      Plenty of right wingers are just as bad if not worse so stop being a hypocrite.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  14th July 2015

        Rubbish. Yes, there are a few right wing nutters. No, there are nothing like enough to populate three political parties as the Left do. There is an order of magnitude difference in scale.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  14th July 2015

          Saying that doesn’t make Labour’s dishonest actions less dishonest kiwi-guy.
          I don’r see how this information could have been obtained honestly. The only people who know who;s bought a house are the buyers, sellers and agents. The banks do, of course, but unless everyone used the same one and a bankworker was able to find out this and…well, that’s not really likely. Possible but most improbable.

          I would guess that the agent has been hand-picked and that their list has.

          It’s certainly unethical. I would be avoiding that agency if I knew who they were. If our agent had published such a list, I would have been at least annoyed.

          Reply
          • PLATINUM ROOM

             /  14th July 2015

            You need to get up to speed kitcat…..the Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson has already outed himself as being the REA in question.

            And have no doubt, it IS hot Chinese money that is driving the Auckland housing market…anyone who says or thinks otherwise has their head firmly up their fundamental orifice.

            Reply
            • PLATINUM ROOM

               /  15th July 2015

              There is certainly nothing imaginary about what is happening in the Auckland housing market – and the reasons for it. Whist ‘supply’ is no doubt a major part of the answer, that is also a looong term proposition.

              In the meantime……..

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  14th July 2015

            “the Managing Director of Barfoot & Thompson has already outed himself as being the REA in question”

            Wrong. He has launched an investigation to find out who did it if it came from his company.

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  14th July 2015

              I do have doubts about hot Chinese money driving the market; why would anyone pay more than they have to ? What caused the bubbles all the other times ?

              Ah ha ! It is the Yellow Peril thinking that we won’t notice their dastardly plan for World Domination ! Lock up your daughters, the White Slave Trade is upon us !

            • kittycatkin

               /  14th July 2015

              Not QUITE the same thing, I think,:D If a bank manager announced that they were investigating possible bank fraud, would Platinum Room think that this was an admission of guilt and that the manager was saying that they were the bank fraudster ? If a Telco manager said that they were investigating phone scams, it’s not the same as if they were outing themselves for DOING them.

            • PLATINUM ROOM

               /  14th July 2015

              @Alan Wilkinson….please refer to last para also 🙂

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th July 2015

              @Platinum Room, Chinese money whether based here or overseas may be driving the demand short term but in the medium term, forward and back, supply strangulation is the real problem. Chinese money is an asset, not a problem.

            • PLATINUM ROOM

               /  14th July 2015

              The thing is ‘AW’, the Mainland Chinese never think or operate ‘short or medium term’. With a civilization dating back over 3000 years, the few I know are here for the loooong haul. And yes, Chinese money is certainly an asset – just ask the casino.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  14th July 2015

              Then in either the long or short term, Chinese money is only an asset, not a problem. So fix the real problem, supply, and stop tilting at windmills.

  5. Missy

     /  14th July 2015

    “And have no doubt, it IS hot Chinese money that is driving the Auckland housing market…”

    What evidence? Beyond one real estate agency selling 39.5% of properties in one three month period to people with Chinese sounding names – oh sorry, that is people that Labour think have Chinese sounding names.

    There is nothing to show what is driving the Auckland housing market, and there is no doubt that foreign investment is contributing to the problem, (but then foreign investment in Auckland has been happening for decades – mostly from Australia), but what about supply? what about the increasing number of migrants? what about the increasing number of refugees? what about the fact that many businesses are moving their HQ’s to Auckland and out of the provinces? what about the idea in NZ that you are worth nothing unless you own a house? What about the NIMBY’s who stop construction of Apartment blocks?

    There are a lot of things that could be driving the Auckland housing market, so it is premature to focus on one thing – in this case the ethnicity of one group of buyers.

    Reply
  6. RightOfGenghis

     /  14th July 2015

    Personally I don’t care how they obtained it. Until you have trudged around open homes with your kids desperate to get into their first home while being elbowed by hordes of binge buying asians looking for a cash haven you don’t understand how endemic this problem has become

    Not too distant from now our descendants will be living under chinese rule. Judging by joyce’s attempts to fudge this with ‘we have no data’ and ‘what about our free trade deal’, we already are!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th July 2015

      Well then, blame Peters and Dunne who will not allow the Government to fix the planning blockages that stop supply of new houses to those who don’t have them. Whether or not foreigners buy them makes zero difference to the number of people occupying and needing them.

      Unless you address the real problem you have no hope of fixing it.

      Reply
  7. Mike C

     /  14th July 2015

    WOW. Bit of a hot topic !!!

    All I am gonna add to this conversation, is the fact that my first spouse’s surname was LEE, and their skin was white as white, and they are of Danish and Scottish descent. LOL.

    Reply
  8. BUCK WIT

     /  15th July 2015

    Barfoot have a lot to be worried about – leaks like this are one thing, but what most of NZ does not yet realise that they are behind the REAA which was set up to provide cover for dodgy real estate agents – effectively and old boys network so to speak – a very corrupt organisation to say the least. But of course they house market is such a cash cow for the NZ Govt they allow it to happen. I am aware of 2 cases currently – one where the legal team for Barfoot is colluding with Meredith Connell and acting like they can simply control the outcome, and in another case the corruption runs right up to Jackie Blue helping her mate out. Criminal charges are pending.

    Reply

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