Budget leak: Treasury ‘deliberately hacked’

Treasury's secretary and chief executive Gabriel Makhlouf. - Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King.

Treasury has evidence it has been deliberately hacked and has referred the matter to police following the National Party's leaking of Budget information, it says.

In a press release titled "National reveals Budget details" during the Prime Minister's regular media conference on Tuesday morning, the National Party said it had a document claiming to reveal the funding for 18 of the 40 policy areas for the next financial year.

In an official release, Treasury says that following media reports on Tuesday morning, it had gathered sufficient evidence that its "systems have been deliberately and systematically hacked".

It says the matter had been referred to police on the advice of the National Cyber Security Centre.

"The Treasury takes the security of all the information it holds extremely seriously. It has taken immediate steps today to increase the security of all Budget-related information and will be undertaking a full review of information security processes."

After Treasury's announcement, National Party leader Simon Bridges tweeted that Finance Minister Grant Robertson had smeared the party and called for the minister's resignation.

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas.

In a statement, Grant says the matter is extremely serious but is now a matter for police.

"We have contacted the National Party tonight to request that they do not release any further material, given that the Treasury said they have sufficient evidence that indicates the material is a result of a systematic hack and is now subject to a Police investigation.

"What New Zealanders care about are the issues that will be dealt with in the Wellbeing Budget on Thursday, and that is what we continue to be focussed on."

In his own weekly press conference following National's release, Simon says it's "not the Wellbeing Budget, it's the Winston Budget" in reference to Deputy PM Winston Peters and $1.3 billion marked in National's documents for defence assets.

Asked where the party had got its information from, he would not go as far as calling it a leak.

"I'm not going to say how this information has come to us, but I'm very confident in the information," says Simon. "I think what it shows is a loose, incompetent government."

Finance Minister Grant Robertson subsequently says some figures in the National Party document are wrong.

"The information that's been released, some of it's right, some of it's wrong, you'll see the real budget on Thursday."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern questioned the credibility of anything the National Party presented, saying they were free to speculate.

The Budget is due to be released on Thursday, 30 May.

Treasury says there was no evidence personal information supplied to Treasury had been hacked.

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Posted on 29-05-2019 16:31 | By morepork was the Russians... Seriously, parties trying to spy on each other and score off each other is not the kind of politics we need (as Merlin observed). We need a solid Opposition who question Government and hold them to account, but do NOT resort to underhand methods, personal name-calling, and "dodgy" practice. An Opposition that is seen to be ethical, capable, and admirable. And the Government should behave properly also. They say in Democracy you get what you deserve, but when did we deserve representatives behaving like pre-schoolers? The leaked information should have been returned as soon as it was received. When will Parliamentarians start doing what’s right, instead of spinning stuff that isn’t important into a publicity grabbing event. The facts of the budget will be revealed on Thursday; meanwhile there was nothing to stop National using the information internally to prepare their questions and issues.


Posted on 29-05-2019 12:18 | By Merlin

How many more stuff up’s before National get a new leader and direction?

treason from simon

Posted on 29-05-2019 11:56 | By dave4u

Is this not a form of treason from Simon .Dictionary says:the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government. He has betrayed the govt in power at the moment, ok he’s not killing anyone,but he is trying to overthrow the govt.

Egg on face

Posted on 29-05-2019 10:25 | By penguin

The government does not have egg on its face. Rather, it is National and Bridges. The latter could have chosen not to disseminate the Budget information that came their way. But, no, chose to try and make political capital. Egg on face sticks, Simon!


Posted on 29-05-2019 08:57 | By Merlin

Simon says he is not saying where he got the information but if it was hacked from Treasury and he knew that is not using hacked information is so despicable.I hope the police get to the bottom of this as we do not need this type of politics here.