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The Tuia250 data breach earlier in the year was just the beginning of cybersecurity issues at the Ministry for Arts, Culture and Heritage, National’s Data and Cybersecurity spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Official documents show sensitive emails were incorrectly sent from the Ministry to a Victoria University email address just a few months ago.

“The unencrypted email contained an attachment titled ‘Upcoming MCH papers’ with papers across multiple Ministries including Arts, Culture and Heritage; Sports and Recreation; and Broadcasting portfolios attached.

“Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to release the titles of the papers, which signals the potential sensitivity of them.

“Adding insult to injury, her Ministry also mistakenly sent me official information that revealed the Ministry had been keeping her in the dark about these data breaches.

“This is sloppy process with the potential for big consequences. The Minister should not be finding out about issues like this simply because the Opposition started asking questions.

“It also begs the question of what other data breaches the Ministry has not told the Minister about.

“The Government is overseeing data breach after data breach, which is undermining any confidence New Zealanders have about the management of their data.

“Following on from the firearms buyback data breach, Phil Twyford’s lost USB drive, the failure to protect their own Budget material, and now multiple issues within the Prime Minister’s own Ministry, it’s clear this Government cannot be trusted to look after New Zealanders’ sensitive data.” 

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