National's share offer already in trouble | The Jackal

6 Mar 2013

National's share offer already in trouble

Today, 3 News reported:

Serious questions are being asked about how a sharebroking firm managed to obtain the details of a woman who'd just registered her interest in buying Mighty River Power shares.

The woman, who wants only to be known as Elizabeth, registered on the 0800 number, and within 15 minutes received an email from Milestone Financial Services, asking to represent her.

RadioLIVE business editor Andrew Patterson says alarm bells should be ringing about how the company obtained the investor's details so it could go fishing for a commission.

Oh dear! The government website and 0800 number to gain the details of people who are interested in obtaining shares in Mighty River Power have only just launched, and already we're seeing a serious breach of privacy.

Passing on the details of those who register to a private company is not only morally questionable, it's against the law, with the Crimes Act 1961 (PDF) stating:

105A Corrupt use of official information

Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly uses or discloses any information, acquired by him in his official capacity, to obtain, directly or indirectly, an advantage or a pecuniary gain for himself or any other person.

Unfortunately the State-Owned Enterprises Minister, Tony Ryall, will likely not be held to account for the crime... After all, history has shown that no National minister is responsible for the unscrupulous actions of their ministry.