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Law broken when private Covid-19 patient information was leaked, says legal expert

One legal expert believes a law has been broken by National MP Hamish Walker and ex-National Party president Michelle Boag in the leaking of private Covid-19 patient information.

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There are still questions about why and how former National Party president Michelle Boag got private patient information. Source: 1 NEWS

Yesterday, Mr Walker and Ms Boag admitted being involved in the leaking of the details of 18 of New Zealand's active Covid-19 cases last week.

University of Auckland legal expert Dr Bill Hodge says Mr Walker could be in big trouble under the Crimes Act.

“It has a provision which makes it a reasonably serious crime, at least three years in jail for a person who published or released or without authority releases information which could be a threat to New Zealand,” Mr Hodge said. 

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The National leader also told Breakfast he thinks former party president Michelle Boag should step aside from any involvement with the party in the wake of the Covid-19 privacy leak scandal. Source: Breakfast

Ms Boag has claimed the patient information was made available to her while acting as chief executive of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

She said it was sent to her private email address.

But in a statement, the trust has said Ms Boag never had access to any clinical or patient data.

Last night the police said if a complaint is made against those involved they will decide whether to investigate. Today police have refused to confirm whether there have been any.

Meanwhile, the Government’s own inquiry headed by Michael Heron QC is continuing. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said he was due to report back in three weeks, is still required to give the Government the assurance information is “appropriately shared” with the right parties.

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National leader Todd Muller has his own shambles to deal with after a National MP and a former party president admitted being the sources of the Covid0-19 patients’ details, Maiki Sherman says. Source: 1 NEWS

National MP Hamish Walker announces he won’t run again following controversies

Mr Walker, MP for Clutha-Southland, announced this afternoon that he will no longer stand at the next election while Ms Boag has stood down from her various roles in the National Party.