Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff has closed her investigation into a complaint against Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, referring it to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings.

Solo mum Natasha Fuller laid the complaint after Ms Bennett released her benefit details to news media when she complained about cuts to her training incentive allowance.

Ms Shroff said the parties were unable to reach a settlement over the complaint. However, there was "sufficient substance" for her to refer the matter to the director Robert Hesketh, which she had done.

Ms Shroff said she would not make further comment while the matter was with the director.

If a settlement cannot be made after a complaint to the commissioner she can give an opinion on the matter.

Her opinion is not legally binding, but is taken seriously.

It was normal for the commissioner to pass complaints to the director, where settlement was not reached.

The director can decide whether or not it should be taken to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

- NZPA