The Ministry of Social Development has admitted to accidentally sending a list of 43 children in Child, Youth and Family care, to a member of the public.
A Waikato grandmother, who doesn't want to be named, found the two-page list with documents sent to her family by CYF earlier this week.
"They have all these children's names and their caregiver's names in them, and how much they're getting paid and why they're getting paid," she says.
The document is a board payment batch summary report, detailing the care allowance provided to the families looking after the children, for things like birthday money, pocket money, board and nappies.
"I didn't understand what it was to start with and it took me about half an hour to figure out why they would have sent this kind of document to us," says the grandmother.
The Ministry's Central Regional Director Karen Hocking says the information was inadvertently included in material sent to a member of the public earlier this week.
"This was a result of human error and I'm sorry that our actions have seen private information passed to a third party. It should not have happened."
Ms Hocking says they're contacting everyone on the list who had their privacy breached to apologise and are reminding staff of their obligations to be careful and professional when dealing with private information.
The grandmother in Waikato contacted Newshub instead of reporting the breach to CYF because she was worried it would just be swept under the carpet.
"I think someone should be held accountable. There has to be accountability in a Government place like this, there's too much at stake for these kids."
She has now returned the list to CYF.