In a last minute year-end coda to the serpentine illegal GCSB spying saga, Fairfax political reporter Andrea Vance has received an apology from Parliamentary Service over a breach of her privacy during the affair.
Vance's phone records and data tracking her movements around the parliamentary complex were accessed during an investigation into the leak of a report on the Government Communications Security Bureau's failings.
The report by former Cabinet Secretary and current SIS boss Rebecca Kitteridge was prompted by revelations of the GCSB's illegal spying on controversial German businessman and alleged internet pirate Kim Dotcom.
In a statement, both Parliamentary Service and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) acknowledged "the personal hurt and humiliation that Ms Vance suffered as a result of personal information about her being accessed and released" Fairfax reported this morning.
"While the agreement is confidential, we can say that the Parliamentary Service unreservedly apologises for its part, and DPMC regrets any part its actions played in contributing to that position," a Parliamentary Service spokesman was reported as saying.
Fairfax group executive editor Sinead Boucher said she welcomed the apology as a the resolution of privacy complaint Vance made over the incident.
"I am happy that this complaint has been resolved to Andrea's satisfaction, and in a way that recognises the importance of journalists protecting their communications and the confidentiality of their sources."
Former top public servant David Henry's investigation which accessed Vance's phone and swipe card records noted frequent communications between Vance and former Revenue Minister Peter Dunne in the days leading up to the leak of the Kitteridge report to her.
Mr Dunne denied being the source of the leak but resigned shortly after Mr Henry's findings were released.
He was subsequently reinstated as a minister following the election while Vance won reporter and political reporter of the year gongs at the Canon Media Awards this year.