Health NZ Data Breach Compromises Personal Information of 12k Patients

Written by Mitchell Langley

February 16, 2024

Health NZ Data Breach Compromises Personal Information of 12k Patients

Around 12,000 individuals have been affected in the Health NZ Data Breach cause by a data leak at Te Whatu Ora Covid 19, a healthcare organization in New Zealand.


The Health NZ COVID-19 data breach exposed personal information by a former staff member. Health New Zealand Te Whatu Ora has initiated the process of notifying the individuals impacted by this event.

Health NZ is Notifying the Breach to Those Affected

According to Margie Apa, the Chief Executive of Te Whatu Ora Covid 19, the first group of individuals to be notified are the Covid vaccinators. Their personal information was found in a downloadable file on a US blog. Additionally, a smaller number of vaccinated individuals were also identified.

Apa mentioned that the number of affected individuals might increase as the investigation progresses. A former employee of the organization is currently facing court charges in connection with the data leak.

Unlike Previous Claims, Health NZ Data Breach Effects 12000 People

Initially, Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ stated that only a small number of people had potentially been affected when the breach was discovered in December. However, they are now actively determining if the number is higher than the initial estimate of 12,000.

“We deeply regret what happened and apologise sincerely to those affected. We are making information, advice and support available to individuals being notified,”

“This is a highly complex situation, and our investigation is ongoing. We are working with local and international cyber security experts to assist and monitor for signs of the data being disclosed online,”

Apa said.

Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ is collaborating with the police and the Privacy Commissioner in addressing the data breach incident.

Margie Apa emphasized that Health NZ is fully dedicated to learning from this incident. They are actively enhancing internal controls and fortifying data security measures to prevent any future occurrences of data breaches.

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