Post sponsored by

Source: New Zealand Privacy Commissioner – Blog

The changes that come in with the Privacy Act 2020 on 1 December are significant. Not only are they a modernisation of the well-established concepts in the 1993 Privacy Act; they represent a platform for further change. We’re taking this rare opportunity as an office to re-set how we work as a regulator.

There are some key elements that you might already know about:

  • Mandatory notification of privacy breaches – listen to this podcast for further details: breach notification podcast
  • New rules when sending personal information overseas
  • Compliance notices
  • Access directions
  • New criminal offences
  • Extra-territorial effect

See here for an overview.

Strategic focus

Although these statutory changes represent a step change in the law, they are only part of the bigger picture. We’ve also been reflecting and reviewing how we work as a regulator. A new legal framework is a challenge as well as solution – the letter of the law is one thing, but there is discretion and judgment to be applied in the exercise of those functions. How can we make the best use of our new enforcement powers? How can we ensure we are achieving the best strategic outcomes? How can we work more effectively?

New roles

Part of our response has been to identify skill gaps in our human resources, and to expand regulatory functions that have been less well developed to date. We were pleased that a budget bid we made to support implementation of the new Act was successful and allows us to recruit staff to maximise our influence and impact for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

A concrete demonstration of that is two of the new positions that have been created within the Office. Both roles reflect a re-envisioning of how we might operate better as a regulator in the years ahead.

Assistant Commissioner, Strategy and Insights

The first of these new roles is Assistant Commissioner, Strategy and Insights. We are delighted to welcome Jo Hughes to that position. Jo Hughes is currently MBIE’s Deputy Chief Executive, Strategic Policy and Programmes. The group’s teams share a common thread of “looking ahead, working across” to lead MBIE’s economic strategy and regulatory stewardship functions and work alongside partner agencies to support Māori and Pasifika economic development. It also advises on small business policy and houses the cross-agency “Better for Business” program.

Jo leads MBIE’s co-leadership with Te Puni Kokiri of the Crown-Māori Economic Development partnership, He Kai Kei Aku Ringa, and is the kaitiaki of MBIE’s aspirations to partner with Maori.

Jo was previously the General Manager of MBIE’s Labour and Immigration Policy Branch. Prior to joining MBIE in 2013, she spent nine years at the Treasury and held roles in financial markets policy, innovation policy and Crown asset ownership monitoring. Jo started her career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand where she worked on monetary policy and financial markets issues. During 2018-19, she was seconded to the newly formed Ministry of Housing and Urban Development as their Deputy Chief Executive, Policy.

Manager, Compliance and Enforcement

Jackie Adams takes up the new role of Manager, Compliance and Enforcement. Jackie Adams is currently the National Compliance Manager for Energy and Resources at MBIE. He is responsible for the administration, governance and enforcement of the legislation that regulates the petroleum, mining and energy sectors, and developed for MBIE a compliance strategy and framework, regulatory operating model, auditing program, and standard operating procedures. Jackie is also an assessor for the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-Reg).

Prior to joining MBIE, Jackie was the Regulatory Manager for the West Coast Regional Council managing their compliance and consents teams. He was responsible for building a new regulatory regime as well as prosecutions under the Resource Management Act and Local Government Act.

Jackie has worked closely alongside iwi and hapu in his roles.

Both Jo and Jackie take up their positions on 27 October 2020.