Ardern divulges more information about timeline of Budget data leak, advice given to ministers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released more details about the timeline of events following the Budget data leak, saying ministers were advised by the GCSB on how to describe the incident after statements calling it a hack were released.

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The Prime Minister talks about the timeline of the leak and advice ministers were given at the time. Source: Breakfast

After the Treasury put out its statement on May 28, and after Finance Minister Grant Robertson reiterated that statement, information started coming in about 9pm about the language that had been used, Ms Ardern says.

"The advice was "use the words unauthorised access"," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast today. "We still didn't know what had happened, we just knew that the GCSB had a preference around the language that was being used and you can see from there on our language did change."

The National Party leaked some details of the Government's "wellbeing Budget" on the Tuesday, ahead of it's scheduled release on Thursday May 30.

"We did not know what had happened until later Wednesday. We had no idea, in fact the only person who ultimately knew that information was the leader of the Opposition and the Opposition itself so we were in the dark on that.

"Ultimately, the most important thing is that the SSC (State Services Commission) look at this. There's a very short version of events - information was accessed, we didn't know how, it took us a while to find out - that's the sum of it.

"Ultimately, the SSC will be helping with clarity around the advise that was provided. This ultimately is about the security of our website."