NZ Coalition Government caught using Gmail, “because it’s easier to use”

New Zealand’s Coalition Government appears to have brushed aside security fears about using non-government email providers, after the third minister in as many weeks has hit the headlines for conducting government business through his private Gmail account.

Police Minister Stuart Nash told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that he uses Gmail all the time for ministerial communications “because the parliamentary email system is hard to log into from home”.

Nash told the radio station he finds Gmail really useful “to open documents”, but when questioned about transparency said he always made sure to copy his ministerial advisor so a copy of the Gmail was on the government record.

Nash’s revelation comes 24 hours after it was revealed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave her private Gmal address to entrepreneur Derek Handley who was in the running for a government job. Earlier this month Broadcasting and Transparency Minister Clare Curran was forced to resign in a private Gmail scandal.

Google has been embroiled in controversy over just how secure its Gmail system is, with claims that email content is scanned to provide advertising and search leads, although Google has been at pains to insist that no humans have been reading customer emails.