Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Arrested Te Whatu Ora worker's team 'devastated' at colleague's breach in trust - health boss

Publish Date
Mon, 4 Dec 2023, 9:26am

Arrested Te Whatu Ora worker's team 'devastated' at colleague's breach in trust - health boss

Publish Date
Mon, 4 Dec 2023, 9:26am

The team of Te Whatu Ora workers whose colleague has been arrested for a mass privacy breach of Covid-19 vaccination data is "devastated" their co-worker might have damaged the management's trust in the team, the agency's chief people officer revealed to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning.

A man believed to be a Te Whatu Ora staff member was interviewed on a New Zealand conspiracy theory website last week. He claimed he had developed a database for the vaccine rollout and quoted from that work.

The 56-year-old worker was then confirmed to have been arrested yesterday afternoon about the “unauthorised disclosure and misuse of data”, police said.

He has been charged with accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes and will appear in Wellington District Court tomorrow.

According to Te Whatu Ora's Andrew Slater, the breach appeared to only be the actions of one individual who was part of a "very, very small team" of specialists who look after the agency's systems on the back end.

"[They're] quite deep technical data experts," said Slater, the agency's chief people officer.

"I've met the rest of that team with their manager towards the end of last week, and they're devastated - they've taken the trust we've put in their hands to keep these very important systems running extremely seriously and they're devastated this person has done this."

Slater said the agency was very concerned about the data breach, an internal investigation into the incident is currently piecing together how the worker accessed information within a working environment.

Hosking asked the health boss if anything could be learned from the fact the data leaked was anonymous, which perhaps suggested the worker wasn't trying to throw anybody in particular under the bus.

"At the end of the day we take no comfort in this happening at all," said Slater.

"The fact this happened, if it's anonymous or not, is something we want to check to see if it was of good quality and if the information was compromised."

On Sunday afternoon, former TV presenter and conspiracy theorist Liz Gunn took to X, formerly Twitter, and reported that police had surrounded the “whistleblower’s” house at 2.15pm and that an arrest was imminent.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you