Attn: Mike Foley - Interception of Private Communications by Waikato DHB Staff

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt made this Official Information request to Waikato District Health Board

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Waikato District Health Board should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Mike Foley
Executive Director
Digital Enablement
Waikato District Health Board

RE: Interception of Private Communications by Waikato DHB Staff

Dear Mike Foley,

I am writing to you under the OIA for information. According to the Ministry of Health's standards HISO 10029:2015 Health Information Security Framework, clause 8.2, all DHBs must ensure that information sent electronically is protected from interception or re-routing. This includes both intra- and inter- agency communications.

Waikato DHB has acknowledged to the HDC and Ombudsman that the DHB has implemented "communication plans" which includes the re-routing or re-directing (i.e., interception) of personal, private communications between (1) patients and treating physicians, (2) patients and the clinical records team, and (3) patients and any other DHB employee (including yourself).

The re-routing (i.e. interception) means that the intended recipient does not receive the email in their designated, password protected Waikato DHB email account. Instead the emails are intercepted at the DHB server and routed to another DHB employee (i.e., intercepted during transmission). This DHB employee is a third party who is/was not the intended recipient. These "communication plans" have been implemented without the knowledge or consent of the sender (patient) or the intended recipient.

The intended recipient may be identified by the unique email address and by the salutation. For instance, if I had sent my email to Mike.Foley [at] waikatodhb.health.nz, it would be obvious you are the intended recipient. In this instance, to mitigate the risk of interception, I have sent this communication to a general email account through a public forum; however, I have addressed this correspondence to Mike Foley, to be read by Mike Foley, who is the intended recipient. As you are the Executive Director of Digital Engagement you are the person who would be most qualified to answer my questions. Thus, I ask that the response come from you and be signed by you.

For the dates between 1 January 2016 and present, I requests the following:
(1) I request a copy of the "communications plan" policy which was in effect and which informed the decisions to go against MoH standards HISO 10029, clause 8.2.
(2) I request the IS department documentation for ticket/order/incident numbers 345436 and 342056, with the private details of the patient redacted. I request the names of the staff members who made the request for the interception or who allegedly authorized the interception to not be redacted, for the sake of transparency for the public good.
(3) I request a copy of the declaration used by Waikato DHB in the employment agreements which informed DHB employees that their communications may be intercepted without their expressed consent. To be clear, this is not the declaration that emails may be "monitored", "read", or "viewed" by a person in IT or their direct managers to ensure compliance with DHB policies.
(4) The number of individual email addresses in which emails sent from those addresses are/and were being intercepted by a third party at Waikato DHB.
(5) The number of individuals whose emails are being intercepted by a third party at Waikato DHB.
(6) The number of individuals who were not made aware that their communications would be intercepted prior to implementing the interception plan.
(5) I request the number of individuals who have become aware of the interception of their personal, private communications and have notified the DHB, Police, Privacy Commissioner, HDC, Ombudsman, MoH or any other investigative or legislative authority over Waikato DHB and the outcome of those investigations (if any were conducted).

I request that all information be provided through FYI.org.nz for transparency and the good of the public. I do not consent to you accessing my NHI file in order to obtain my personal information. I will consider it a breach of my privacy if the information is sent to my private email account or residence as I have not included this information in the request. I request that the information be in searchable electronic form (e.g. pdf not tiff or giff).

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Kind regards,
Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Mike Foley,

I am following up with you as your agency is currently in breach of the OIA. Under sections 15 and 15A of the OIA you were legally obliged to respond to my request for information or notify me of an extension, with a specified date, within 20 working days. Twenty working days from the time of my request was 2 March 2021. Thus, you rganisation is now in breach of the OIA.

I request that the information be provided no later than 5 PM on Monday 8 March 2021. I note the Information and documents I requested must be readily accessible in accordance with the DHBs controlled documents policies on Waikato DHBs website, and in accordance with the Public Records Act and Electronic Transactions Act. Thus I have no doubt that you and your colleagues will be able to provide the documents and information by the specified date.

Regards,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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Amy S Van Wey Lovatt left an annotation ()

Complained to the Ombudsman and the HDC today, 10 March 2021.

Background - OIA Request Interception of Communications
On 01 February 2021 I made a request under sections 12, 22-24 of the OIA, which included (amongst other things) the documents and policies the DHB holds which informed their decision to allow a DHB employee to intercept personal communications between me and my physicians, board members and every other DHB employee, without my consent or the consent of the intended recipients.

On 4 March 2021, I followed up letting the DHB know that they had failed to meet their legislative duty to respond within 20 working days or to notify me of an extension (section 15 and 15A of the OIA). In failing to respond, the DHB has breached my rights affirmed under sections 12, 22-24 of the Act. In failing to comply with the legal requirements of the OIA, the DHB has breached Right 4(2) of the HDC Code. In failing to provide the personal information under IPP 6 of the Privacy Act, the DHB has breached Right 1(2) of the HDC Code. In failing to provide the public with their policies, which include the interception of communications, they have breached Right 7 of the Code. In failing to address my complaint regarding the unlawful interception of my personal communications, the DHB has breached Rights 10(6)-(7) of the HDC code.

You may view the initial request and reminder on FYI.org.nz here: https://fyi.org.nz/request/14588-attn-mi....

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From: Christine Chandler
Waikato District Health Board


Attachment Response Cover Letter 20210322.pdf
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Good morning Amy

 

Please find attached the response to your information requests.

 

Regards

 

Christine Chandler | Consumer Engagement Manager | Quality and Patient
Safety | Waikato District Health Board| Hamilton | New Zealand  Ph 07 839
8899 ext 92252 | Mobile (021) 839 441

 

 

This electronic message, together with any attachments is confidential and
may be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient: 1.do not copy,
disclose or use the contents in any way. 2.please let me know by return
email immediately and then destroy the message. Waikato DHB is not
responsible for any changes made to this message and/or any attachments
after sending by Waikato DHB. Before opening or using attachments, check
them for viruses and effects. Waikato DHB takes no responsibility for
affected attachments. Click on link www.waikatodhb.health.nz/disclaimer to
view the company policy website. If you are not redirected to the company
policy website then copy and paste the URL into a new browser window.

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Amy S Van Wey Lovatt left an annotation ()

On 23 March 2021, I complained to the HDC, Privacy Commissioner, Ombudsman, and Commissioner of Police:

Your agencies have received complaints against the DHB for not responding to my requests within the legislative time frame, and thus not providing me with the official information I had requested. Failing to respond within the legislative timeframe is a breach under the OIA, and thus a breach of Right 4(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights.

Some of the information came under section 24 of the OIA, and thus also IPP 6 of the Privacy Act 2020 and Rule 6 of the Health Information Privacy Code 2020. Any breach of the Privacy Act is a breach of Right 1(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights.

OIA request 1 February 2021 - Attn: Mike Foley - Interception of Private Communications by Waikato DHB Staff

Background
In February 2020, as part of my Privacy Act request, I requested ALL incidents reports pertaining to me. Waikato DHB stated to the Privacy Commissioner that the only incident pertaining to me was a complaint I lodge against Dr I for failure to make decisions on complete and accurate information. As you are all aware, the DHB had made allegations against me to your agencies and the police. Incidents, such those the DHB had alleged, are required to be documented in the Datix system according to Waikato DHB policies. Documentation must be maintained under the Public Records Act, Evidence Act, and Privacy Act. Such incidents, as alleged by the DHB, are required to be reported to the Director-General and HQSC, pursuant to section 31(5) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 and New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act 2010, respectively.

I had submitted an email from Ms C dated 18 June 2019 to the Office of the PC (and each of your agencies as well) which clearly states in the subject line: DHB incident report number #345436. In this email, Ms C admits to the interception of my personal communications, and notifies me that she refuses to cease. Ms C stated:

I understand that you have been in contact with the Information Services Department in regards to the incident report number above in which you queried the routing of your emails. You were advised that someone would make contact with you today to provide you with an update.
I can advise that the email routing will not be removed at this point; the routing of these emails will continue, and I will continue to ensure that these are forwarded to the appropriate clinical service or clinician for response.
Therefore this incident report will now be closed.

I had also provided copies of recorded phone conversations with members of the DHBs Information Services department who affirmed that Ms C was intercepting my communications, without my consent. In these recorded calls, the employees referenced the two incident numbers in my OIA request. I also supplied evidence that, contrary to assertions by the DHB, my physicians and other individuals at the DHB were unaware and had not consented for emails intended for them to be intercepted.

Rather than holding the DHB to account under section 127 of the Privacy Act [1983], the Office of the Privacy Commissioner accepted the DHBs response that they had not understood that my request for ALL personal information, inducing ALL incident reports about me, meant ALL incident reports about me. The PC assured me I would receive this information, or an official response from the DHB in October 2020. After the new year, when I still had not received the requested information, I complained to the Privacy Commissioner. As seen in the correspondence from Tara Reynolds, the DHB claimed they had provided me with this information. The DHB does not have a mailing address for me in the USA, as this is information which is not necessary for the DHB to send the information electronically per my request (IPP 1, and section 56(2) of the PA). The fact that I have not received the information means that either the DHB had provided false information to the PC (an offence under section 127 [of the PA 1993]) or had sent the information to the wrong email address or physical address (a breach of IPP 5).

When Ms Reynolds refused my complaint, without a certificate and contrary to the Privacy Act, I made the request for the same information under section 24 of the OIA. My request may be viewed on FYI.org.nz. [IT is my understanding that the PC has now accepted this complaint and it will be reviewed.]

Response to request 2:
Given that the specified incidents are personal information which is held by the DHB about me, I have a right to the information under IPP6 of the Privacy Act, Rule 6 of the HIPC 2020, section 24 of the OIA, and Right 1(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights, and under the Evidence Act. If, as the DHB had informed the PC, I had received the information, then the DHB would not have refused my request pursuant to sections 9(2)(a) and 9(2)(g)(ii).
9(2)(a) - protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of deceased natural persons;
9(2)(g)(ii) - (ii)the protection of such Ministers, members of organisations, officers, and employees from improper pressure or harassment;

Whose privacy are they protecting? Certainly not mine.

To date:
The Police have stated that crimes are not matters for the police to investigate, computers are not interception devices, acts consistent with section 216B of the Crimes Act are not crimes if sanctioned by an employer, and this is a matter for a patient to take to the Employment Tribunal.
The IPCA essentially agreed with the Police.
The Ombudsman stated that the interception of my personal communications, without my consent or the consent of the intended recipient, was not wrong, not contrary to law (Crimes Act, section 21 of NZ Bill of Rights, IPP 4, etc), and not a mistake of law.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner told me that I must succumb to coercion and blackmail, and allow Ms C to access my information without my consent.
The HDC refused to investigate, and found no violations of my rights to informed consent, confidentiality of personal health information, etc.
So, since your agencies, do not think the DHB has committed any offence under any legislation, then why the lack of transparency? If the DHB and Ms C have, as you all have affirmed, acted in accordance with the law when she began intercepting my personal communications, then clearly there can be no fear of harassment.

Certainly not from me, because I have repeatedly told the DHB that she is to stop contacting me and violating my privacy. I have blocked direct email communications from Ms C, {REDACTED}.

Perhaps, the DHB is concerned you all will follow the wisdom of Winston Churchill, who said to a woman berating him for changing his position, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, madam?”

If, with the new evidence I have provided, your find the DHB has acted contrary to law, then I note that the exclusions are not intended to cover-up unlawful acts. The whole point of transparency is to ensure confidence in government agencies. Every time the agency refuses to be transparent, confidence is lost.

The refusal is wrong, irrational and contrary to law.

Response to Request 1:
Each of your agencies have referred to a "communication plan" rather than the interception of my personal communications without my consent or the consent of the intended recipients. I have never seen the "communication plan" you all have referred to. Thus, in my OIA request, I asked for the Waikato DHB policy on "communication plans" to which each of your agencies keep referring.

After the background information, to ensure clarity of my request, I stated:
1) I request a copy of the "communications plan" policy which was in effect and which informed the decisions to go against MoH standards HISO 10029, clause 8.2.

Ms Chandler refused my request, stating:
This is not a valid request under the Official Information Act as it does not specify the information sought with due particularity.

Ms Chandler has not given a lawful reason under the OIA, which is a breach of the OIA. Moreover, clause 8.2 of HISO 10029:2017 is very particular, and thus her statement is clearly inaccurate (breach of IPP 8). If, as she alleged, my request was not particular enough, I note she had a legal obligation to assist (section 13 of the OIA), which she did not do. Further, since the DHB has not made public a complete list of policies, the public may not request policies by name only by description or reference to their obligations under legislation, regulations, or standards.

IPP3 of the PA. or Rule 3 of the HIPC, affirms patients right to know who will have access to their information. We are supposed to be provided that information before they gather any information from us. However, the DHB has not made these policies available to me (breach of IPP3) or the general public. Further, every time I ask for policies regarding access to my information, I am denied these policies [unless I lodge a complaint with your agencies]. The DHB has a legal obligation to make available to the public the policies I have requested under Rule 3 of the HIPC (IPP3), Rights 1(2) and 7 of the Health and Disability Commissioner (Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights) Regulations 1996. Informed consent, and provision of policies, is also mandated by the Ministry of Health standard HISO 10064: 2017. Failing to meet the legal requirements, means Waikato DHB has also breached Right 4(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights. This is also a breach of my rights under sections 21-23 of the OIA.

The refusal is wrong, irrational and contrary to law.

Response to Request 3:
I also requested:
(3) I request a copy of the declaration used by Waikato DHB in the employment agreements which informed DHB employees that their communications may be intercepted without their expressed consent. To be clear, this is not the declaration that emails may be "monitored", "read", or "viewed" by a person in IT or their direct managers to ensure compliance with OHB policies.

My request for this information was refused, the reasons given were 9(2)(a) and 9(2)(g)(ii) of the OIA.

Whose privacy are they protecting? Certainly the wording used in their employment agreements cannot pertain to any particular person, and thus could not affect the privacy of any individual. Who would be harassed by disclosing standard terms used in employment agreements? Again, if the DHB is acting in accordance with the law in their employment contracts, then clearly there can be no fear of harassment.

If, however, the DHB has acted unlawfully, then I note that the exclusions are not intended to cover-up unlawful acts. Again, the whole point of transparency is to ensure confidence in government agencies. Every time the agency refuses to be transparent, confidence is lost.

The refusal is wrong, irrational and contrary to law.

Response to Request 4:
In this request, I also made request for specific data, which was:
4) The number of individual email addresses in which emails sent from those addresses are/and were being intercepted by a third party at Waikato OHB.
5) The number of individuals whose emails are being intercepted by a third party at Waikato DHB.
6) The number of individuals who were not made aware that their communications would be intercepted prior to implementing the interception plan.
7) I request the number of individuals who have become aware of the interception of their personal, private communications and have notified the OHB, Police, Privacy Commissioner, HOC, Ombudsman, MoH or any other investigative or legislative authority over Waikato OHB.

The DHB has denied my request on ground 18(e) of the OIA, which states:
that the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or, despite reasonable efforts to locate it, cannot be found:

We know the documents exist, because Ms C is intercepting my communications.
We know that she achieved this by lodging an electronic request with the IS department [refer to recorded phone conversations].
Thus, there is an electronic record of the request for each email address that is being redirected.
Under the Public Records Act, the DHB must keep information for 25 years and prevent it from being lost or destroyed.
It is a breach IPP 5 if the information has been lost or destroyed, as it is considered personal information under the Privacy Act.
The Electronic Transactions Act also specifies how information must be kept and be "readily available" pursuant to any act that requires access (e.g., Privacy Act, HIPC, Public Records Act, etc.).
Waikato DHB, in their communications to the DoIA, have stated that they are compliant with the Public Records Act and Electronic Records Act.
Waikato DHB has specific policies on the storage and accessibility of information.
Thus, either M G has given inaccurate information to the DoIA, and the DHB is not compliant with the legal obligations under the Public Records Act and Electronic Transactions Act; or
Ms Chandler's statement is inaccurate.

It is a breach of IPP 8, if the DHB does not take all reasonable steps to ensure the information they provide is accurate. Any breach of the privacy act is a breach of Right (1)(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights.

Giving inaccurate information to the DoIA, which is a law agency under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, is an offence under the Crimes Act (s 111).

Any failure to meet legal, professional and ethical standards, is a breach of Right 4(2) of the HDC Code of Consumer Rights.

I would like to think we all would agree that providing inaccurate or false information to patients, the public, and other agencies, would be wrong and unlawful under section 22 of the Ombudsman Act.

I will address the other unlawful responses in a subsequent email.

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

On Sat, Jan 30, 2021 at 4:46 PM amy van wey {Redacted} wrote:
Hi Tara,

RE: Incident reports C/31126 (Waikato DHB) - New Complaint

Thank you for following up on the matter of the incident reports. If I had received the information, as the DHB has alleged, I would not be asking for your help in obtaining the information. I note that you have not conveyed the content of their response, which leads me to believe that the DHB has not provided your office with any evidence that it was sent, only their assurances.

It appears that there has been a beach of my privacy. Either the DHB has not sent the information, and has intentionally misled the Privacy Commissioner (an offence under s 212 of the Act [2020]), or the DHB has violated my privacy by sending the information to someone other than me.

I am requesting your help to track down my personal information. I request the details of the method in which the information was sent (email, post, courier), the address where it was sent, and if by email, the email address it was sent from. I request that the DHB forward the original email to you (or Ms Cheung) and have you (or Ms Cheung) forward the information to me. This is so your office may be satisfied that you have not been intentionally misled and I receive the information.

Please note, the DHB does not have my physical address in the USA. The DHB is also aware that I have put a block on all incoming emails from Ms C or members of the Quality and Patient Safety Team. Thus, if the DHB claims that they sent me the information by post, courier or a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Team, the DHB has intentionally misled the Privacy Commissioner.

Kindest regards,
Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

On Fri, Jan 29, 2021 at 1:15 PM Investigations <Investigations@privacy.org.nz> wrote:
Tēnā koe Ms Van Wey Lovatt

We received your request for all information the Privacy Commissioner obtained about you in regards to complaints C/31126 and C/31126.

To clarify, were you seeking information on complaints C/31125 and C/31126? I assume this to be the case, but it would be helpful if you could confirm this.

As we have explained to you previously, we will not provide you with any information we have obtained from the Respondent in the course of an investigation.

We are refusing this aspect of your request under section 206 of the Privacy Act 2020. In addition, our correspondence with an agency in the course of an investigation is excluded from the definition of personal information (section 29 Privacy Act 2020) and official information (section 2(j) Official Information Act).

This means the only information we would provide you is copies of our correspondence with you, which you would already have a copy of.

As such, could you please confirm if you would like us to resend copies of our correspondence with you on complaints C/31125 and C/31126 (or just C/31126?) and if so, would you like that sent to this email address?

With respect to your requests for information about the incident reports. I followed up with WDHB and they advise me the information was sent to you on 15 October 2020.

We have closed your complaint about the DHB (C/31126) and we will not be reconsidering our decision to do so, or our final view on that matter. If you do not agree with our view, then you can take your complaint to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Nāku iti noa

Tara Reynolds, Acting Manager

Investigations & Dispute Resolution Team

Office of the Privacy Commissioner Te Mana Mātāpono Matatapu
PO Box 10094, The Terrace, Wellington 6143

Level 13, 51-53 Shortland Street, Auckland 1010

privacy.org.nz

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--
Amy S. Van Wey Lovatt, PhD

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this message in error, you must not read, use, distribute or copy this message or any of its contents.

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M.R.M. left an annotation ()

Hi Amy

My husband, the registered FYI user, told me about your issue. I have read all of the information published here and am writing to you using his account.

So called "communication plans" are also used by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand. (I think you would know who and what this organisation is about because it appears you are a New Zealander living in the USA). This is a punishment that they apply to any claimant who dares to ask too many questions, who dares to ask for any more information (under the Official Information Act and/or Privacy Acts, etc.) than the ACC thinks is necessary, and, who dares to not accept decisions that the ACC makes (more often than not declining valid and legitimate claims), and, who dares to challenge same.

I had a "communication plan" slapped on me after I stepped out of line following denial by the ACC of a valid and legitimate claim for cover of certain, relatively serious, injuries that I suffered, The ACC did not consult me regarding this matter, the decision was unilateral, and I was only told about it after it had been made and my file had been transferred to Wellington. Nothing that I had to say on the subject - retrospectively - was taken into consideration. My protests were simply ignored.

The ACC transferred my entire claim file to a department of theirs set up in Wellington. Not just that part of my file relative to the refused claims I had challenged. All of my e-mails were - from that point onwards - intercepted by the ACC, and they were re-routed to one particular manager at the Wellington branch. This was regardless of what e-mail address I used to send e-mails to. They all went to the same aforementioned manager's e-mail address. Thus, the intended recipient never even got to know that I had sent him/her an e-mail, much less did they get to read my messages. This decision and the actions taken by the ACC in relation thereto, I knew, was illegal, and reading that I subsequently did on this subject proved that not only was this illegal on a local level but also on an international level.

Part and parcel of being put on a "communication plan" by the ACC is each affected claimant is told that the new manager responsible for managing their file will only reply to e-mails once a week (I have even heard cases of once every fortnight!). Each claimant also cannot call and speak to their manager if there is a matter that needs to be resolved urgently. Rather, you are given a phone number to call and you are forced to record a message. The manager then returns your call at his/her leisure ... if at all (in my case I made less than a handful of calls to the manager and never once heard back by phone but did hear back by e-mail ,,, at the end of the week when the e-mail had been written).

Up until the point where I was put on a "communication plan" I had been dealing with, and receiving information from, numerous different ACC employees across New Zealand. I had also sent numerous e-mails to upper management and executive members of the ACC. Some of the employees - but not upper management and executive members - had replied and provided me with information. This was in response to information requests that I had made under the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act), Clearly, the ACC feared that one of its employees could write something that contradicted what another employee had previously written, that did not 'toe the party line', and/or that ought not to have been released to me. So the ACC took the punishment steps to control and limit all of the information provided to me by having one person reply to all of my e-mails regardless of who she had addressed her information requests to.

ACC wrote in e-mails to me that the "communication plan" was temporary, that it would be withdrawn, and my file would be returned to my home town ACC office, once my challenged claims were resolved.

I won all of my appeals against the ACC's decisions - proving that they were all wrong - but despite that having happened many years ago, and, me making numerous requests to have my ACC file return to my home town ACC office, it remains still in Wellington.

The grounds to retain my file in Wellington have not been provided despite me asking the ACC to explain their reasoning behind their decision not to return my file to my home town ACC office in light of their promise abovementioned. Therefore interception and re-direction of any and all e-mails I send to anyone in ACC continues. This has been happening for many years now.

The excuse used to put me on a "communication plan" was that the volume of correspondence I was sending to the various ACC employees I was dealing with (in relation to different claims that had been refused) was excessive, and, it was felt she would benefit from having all of her e-mails answered by one person.

At one stage I asked for a list of e-mail addresses that were being intercepted ... and leant in this way that my husband's private and personal e-mail address was also affected. This is - frankly speaking - a serious violation of his privacy rights because I am the claimant, and he only once wrote an e-mail to a ACC senior manager complaining about the appalling way in which they had been treating me. They also did not let my husband know that his e-mail address had been added to my "communication plan". Rather, I found this out through making yet another information request asking what e-mail addresses were affected by the "communication plan."

I made numerous complaints to the Privacy Commissioner and also the Ombudsman. I was appalled at their decisions ... all illegal and in breach of the rights that they are supposed to uphold and protect against misuse. In my view, all of these "rights" agencies in N.Z. that the public think and believe protect them and their interests are front organisations. Also, they are "toothless dog's" that almost always side with the organisations and not the complainant. In other words, they are operating not to protect the complainant but to protect the organisations.

I in fact had multiple instances of complaints where there were serious, sustained, and even gross breaches of my rights, however, arguing the legislation with the Privacy Commissioner and the Ombudsman after they had ruled in ACC's favour always drew a response whereby I was told that the file had been closed and there would no further communication from them on the matter. They can do no wrong in New Zealand and very, very few complaints against these organisations in relation to the ACC and its agencies succeed.

If you refer to the Crimes Act link provided below, you will note that the interpretation does not include the words "interception device." https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/publ...

However, if you refer to the Search and Surveillance Act link also provided below, you will note that the word "intercept" and the words "interception device" are interpreted to mean ---

INTERCEPT: in relation to a private communication, includes hear, listen to, record, monitor, acquire, or receive the communication either—
(a)
while it is taking place; or
(b)
while it is in transit

INTERCEPTION DEVICE:
(a)
means any electronic, mechanical, electromagnetic, optical, or electro-optical instrument, apparatus, equipment, or other device that is used or is capable of being used to intercept or record a private communication (including a telecommunication); but
(b)
does not include a hearing aid or similar device used to correct subnormal hearing of the user to no better than normal hearing

Patently obviously the WDHB has acted illegally, and seemingly continues to do so, in your case. No government agency is going to assist you with that. Simply put, and as you have already experienced, they will 'turn a blind eye' and deny your claims of impropriety and illegality.

There is absolutely no refuting that your - international and local - human rights have been breached and violated. Read this document linked below which explains what they are ---
https://www.hrc.co.nz/files/5715/2575/34...

Accepting that you are not going to get the result you want and deserve from any of the organisations you have already dealt with is a 'bitter pill to swallow', however, you will need to do that in order to maintain your focus and move forward to a positive outcome. I would suggest/recommend that you do the latter by taking a complaint to the Human Rights Commissioner. Likely you will get a similar response to that which you received from the Privacy Commissioner and the Ombudsman, however, this will open the way for you to proceed with a Judicial Review. (Note that you must have exhausted all potential opportunities for complaint before you can do the former so complaining to the Human Rights Commissioner is a merely a necessary step and not something that will benefit you in any real way). Read the link below:

https://communitylaw.org.nz/community-la...

I commend you for taking the action you have to-date. I could say a lot more since a family member works in the i.T. Dept. of the WDHB, however, I cannot do that for obvious reasons.

Lastly, it stung hard when the Privacy Commissioner wrote to me saying that the ACC has a right to organise its business affairs the way that suits it, not me, and that it was doing nothing wrong by putting me on a "communication plan." I was just to unwell, physically and mentally exhausted too, to argue back at that time. But I regret not having done what I have suggested/recommended you do.

Kind regards
Anon

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Amy S Van Wey Lovatt left an annotation ()

Thank you Anon.

Your story sounds a lot like mine. Indeed, to date, the Ombudsman, HDC, Privacy Commissioner and Police have acted contrary to law and have refused to uphold my rights.

I had to leave NZ to seek medical care and treatment. The delay in diagnosis and treatment for primary aldosteronism by Waikato DHB physicians has led to the enlargement of my heart, putting me at increased risk of heart failure and stroke.

The delay in diagnosis and treatment, combined with the wrong treatment for an injury sustained in NZ, has now led to severe stenosis of my subclavian veins. This led to me ending up in ICU a few weeks ago with a deep vein thrombosis which extended from my right elbow to just above my heart [Paget–Schroetter syndrome].

The physicians in the USA have found evidence of systemic disease, which has compromised my innate immunity. They are still trying to determine the cause, because it appears to be very rare.

I am only 46 years old!

My experiences with the NZ health system, and the legislative authorities who are suppose to help protect NZ residents and citizens, have led me to realize that NZ is not a "free and democratic" society which is dedicated to protecting the rights of its citizens (including health) or upholding their international treaties.

I have found that NZ is not a safe place.

Like you, with my failing health, the question is how hard do I push to try to protect others from the same harm I have experienced. Or do I just never return to NZ and let the madness continue.

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Waikato District Health Board only: