MSD Privacy Statement

The Ministry of Social Development includes Work and Income, MSD Housing Assessment, Senior Services, StudyLink and other service lines. The legislation administered by the Ministry of Social Development allows us to check the information that you give us. This may happen when you apply for assistance and at any time after that. The Privacy Act 1993 requires us to tell you why we collect the information and what we will do with it.

Why we collect information

The information you give us or your Contracted Service Provider1 (where you have one assigned to you) is collected under the authority of the legislation administered by the Ministry of Social Development and will be held by the Ministry of Social Development and/or your Contracted Service Provider.

The information is collected for the purposes of the legislation administered by the Ministry of Social Development, including:

  • granting benefits and other assistance under the Social Security Act 1964
  • granting student loans and student allowances under the Education Act 1989
  • delivering superannuation services under the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 and the Veterans' Support Act 2014
  • assessing eligibility for social housing and calculating income-related rents under the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992
  • care and protection needs of children under the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989
  • providing support and services for you and your family in relation to employment, education and housing
  • assessing whether you and/or your partner (if you have one) may be entitled to an overseas pension, benefit or allowance.

MSD may also use the information for statistical and research purposes, and for providing advice to Government.

The Ministry of Social Development and your Contracted Service Provider will exchange information about you in order to provide you with your correct financial assistance and other services. Your Contracted Service Provider may collect information from other agencies where that information is relevant to the services that the Contracted Service Provider is providing you.

You are not required to give the Ministry of Social Development or your Contracted Service Provider information, but if you do not give us, or them, all the information we ask for, your application for benefits and other assistance may be declined.

[1] The term Contracted Service Providers has the meaning given by section 125A(1), Social Security Act 1964, and references to Contracted Service Providers in this privacy statement only apply where one has been assigned to you.

We may use information for social housing

Information you give us when you apply for assistance, and at any time after that, may also be used for social housing purposes2 under the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992, including reviewing your eligibility for social housing or your income-related rent.

[2] Social housing is subsidised housing available to people in the greatest need of housing for the duration of their need. It is provided by Housing New Zealand and approved community housing providers.

We may contact health providers

The Ministry of Social Development or your Contracted Service Provider may contact health providers to check any health related information you give us.

We may compare the information you give us with information held by other agencies

The information you give us, or your Contracted Service Provider, may be compared with information held by other agencies such as Inland Revenue, the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Defence Force, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Customs Service, Department of Internal Affairs, Accident Compensation Corporation, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Ministry of Health, and Immigration New Zealand. It may also be compared with social security information (for example, pension or benefit information) held by other governments (including Australia, Malta and the Netherlands).

We may share information with Inland Revenue

Under the Tax Administration Act 1994, if you have dependent children, the information you give us, or your Contracted Service Provider, may be shared with Inland Revenue for the purpose of administering Working for Families Tax Credits. Inland Revenue may also:

  • use the information for the purposes of child support, student loans and taxation
  • disclose it to the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Justice, the Accident Compensation Corporation, and the Ministry of Education
  • disclose your personal information to your partner.

We may give information to employers, childcare providers, service providers and social housing providers

The Ministry of Social Development or your Contracted Service Provider may:

  • give employers information about you to find you employment and contact the employer to discuss the result of any job interview that you are referred to
  • share information with childcare centres to administer your entitlement to childcare assistance
  • give information about you to the Tertiary Education Commission, Workbridge, training providers, career services or other agencies that have a formal agreement to provide services on behalf of Work and Income
  • share information about you with social housing providers (such as Housing New Zealand) to administer your housing-related assistance.

We may use your information to give you a better service

Other information that you give us or your Contracted Service Provider (for example, on your skills, aspirations, family circumstances) that is not required to assess your entitlement to a benefit may be used to provide a better service to you by your Contracted Service Provider or the Ministry of Social Development.

You have the right to see your information and ask for it to be corrected

Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to ask to see all information we, or your Contracted Service Provider, hold about you and to ask them, or us, to correct that information.

To ask to see the information we hold about you, or for any other privacy questions, contact:

Privacy Officer
Ministry of Social Development
PO Box 1556
Wellington 6140
Fax: 64 4 918 0099
Email: information@msd.govt.nz

Your right not to give us information

You are not required to give us information, but if you do not give us all the information we ask for, your application for financial assistance may be declined.