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NGOs forced to join surveillance state

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Labour MP Louisa Wall says a new requirement for community-based social services to share client data with funding agencies is an attack on the non-government sector.

The Ministry of Social Development slipped the new rules into contracts for budgeting services sent out last week.

It says getting names, addresses, gender, date of birth, ethnicity, iwi and details of dependents will allow it to determine whether programmes are working.

Ms Wall agrees with critics in the sector that it is a step towards a surveillance society.

"What it will do ultimately is people won't seek the help they need and that's detrimental to the ethos of funding non government organisations to provide services to those most in need, those who are vulnerable in our community," she says.

Louisa Wall says more than 800 organisations receiving community investment funds could be affected, including many Maori providers.

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