Appendix C
Legislative provisions

OIA 1982 LGOIMA 1987

4Purposes

The purposes of this Act are, consistently with the principle of the Executive Government's responsibility to Parliament,—

(a)to increase progressively the availability of official information to the people of New Zealand in order—

(i)to enable their more effective participation in the making and administration of laws and policies; and

(ii)to promote the accountability of Ministers of the Crown and officials,—

and thereby to enhance respect for the law and to promote the good government of New Zealand:

(b)to provide for proper access by each person to official information relating to that person:

(c)to protect official information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy.

4Purposes

The purposes of this Act are—

(a)to provide for the availability to the public of official information held by local authorities, and to promote the open and public transaction of business at meetings of local authorities, in order—

(i)to enable more effective participation by the public in the actions and decisions of local authorities; and

(ii)to promote the accountability of local authority members and officials,—

and thereby to enhance respect for the law and to promote good local government in New Zealand:

(b)to provide for proper access by each person to official information relating to that person:

(c)to protect official information and the deliberations of local authorities to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy.

6Conclusive reasons for withholding official information

Good reason for withholding official information exists, for the purpose of section 5, if the making available of that information would be likely—

(a)to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand or the international relations of the Government of New Zealand; or

(b)to prejudice the entrusting of information to the Government of New Zealand on a basis of confidence by—

(i)the Government of any other country or any agency of such a Government; or

(ii)any international organisation; or

(c)to prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial; or

(d)to endanger the safety of any person; or

(e)to damage seriously the economy of New Zealand by disclosing prematurely decisions to change or continue government economic or financial policies relating to—

(i)exchange rates or the control of overseas exchange transactions:

(ii)the regulation of banking or credit:

(iii)taxation:

(iv)the stability, control, and adjustment of prices of goods and services, rents, and other costs, and rates of wages, salaries, and other incomes:

(v)the borrowing of money by the Government of New Zealand:

(vi)the entering into of overseas trade agreements.

6Conclusive reasons for withholding official information

Good reason for withholding official information exists, for the purpose of section 5, if the making available of that information would be likely—

(a)to prejudice the maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences, and the right to a fair trial; or

(b)to endanger the safety of any person.

9Other reasons for withholding official information

(1)Where this section applies, good reason for withholding official information exists, for the purpose of section 5, unless, in the circumstances of the particular case, the withholding of that information is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make that information available.

(2)Subject to sections 6, 7, 10, and 18, this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to—

(a)protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of deceased natural persons; or

(b)protect information where the making available of the information—

(i)would disclose a trade secret; or

(ii)would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information; or

(ba)protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making available of the information—

(i)would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied; or

(ii)would be likely otherwise to damage the public interest; or

(c)avoid prejudice to measures protecting the health or safety of members of the public; or

(d)avoid prejudice to the substantial economic interests of New Zealand; or

(e)avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mitigate material loss to members of the public; or

(f)maintain the constitutional conventions for the time being which protect—

(i)the confidentiality of communications by or with the Sovereign or her representative:

(ii)collective and individual ministerial responsibility:

(iii)the political neutrality of officials:

(iv)the confidentiality of advice tendered by Ministers of the Crown and officials; or

7Other reasons for withholding official information

(1)Where this section applies, good reason for withholding official information exists, for the purpose of section 5, unless, in the circumstances of the particular case, the withholding of that information is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make that information available.

(2)Subject to sections 6, 8, and 17, this section applies if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to—

(a)protect the privacy of natural persons, including that of deceased natural persons; or

(b)protect information where the making available of the information—

(i)would disclose a trade secret; or

(ii)would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied or who is the subject of the information; or

(ba)in the case only of an application for a resource consent, or water conservation order, or a requirement for a designation or heritage order, under the Resource Management Act 1991, to avoid serious offence to tikanga Māori, or to avoid the disclosure of the location of wāhi tapu; or

(c)protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making available of the information—

(i)would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information, or information from the same source, and it is in the public interest that such information should continue to be supplied; or

(ii)would be likely otherwise to damage the public interest; or

(d)avoid prejudice to measures protecting the health or safety of members of the public; or

(e)avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mitigate material loss to members of the public; or

(g)maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through—

(i)the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty; or

(ii)the protection of such Ministers, members of organisations, officers, and employees from improper pressure or harassment; or

(h)maintain legal professional privilege; or

(i)enable a Minister of the Crown or any department or organisation holding the information to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities; or

(j)enable a Minister of the Crown or any department or organisation holding the information to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations); or

(k)prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

(f)maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through—

(i)the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to members or officers or employees of any local authority, or any persons to whom section 2(5) applies, in the course of their duty; or

(ii)the protection of such members, officers, employees, and persons from improper pressure or harassment; or

(g)maintain legal professional privilege; or

(h)enable any local authority holding the information to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities; or

(i)enable any local authority holding the information to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations); or

(j)prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

12Requests

(1)Any person, being—

(a)a New Zealand citizen; or

(b)a permanent resident of New Zealand; or

(c)a person who is in New Zealand; or

(d)a body corporate which is incorporated in New Zealand; or

(e)a body corporate which is incorporated outside New Zealand but which has a place of business in New Zealand,—

may request a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation to make available to him or it any specified official information.

(1A)Notwithstanding subsection (1), a request made, on or after the date of commencement of this subsection, by or on behalf of a natural person for access to any personal information which is about that person shall be deemed to be a request made pursuant to subclause (1)(b) of principle 6 of the Privacy Act 1993, and shall be dealt with accordingly, and nothing in this Part or in Part 5 shall apply in relation to any such request.

(2)The official information requested shall be specified with due particularity in the request.

(3)If the person making the request asks that his request be treated as urgent, he shall give his reasons for seeking the information urgently.

10Requests

(1)Any person may request any local authority to make available to that person any specified official information.

(1A)Notwithstanding subsection (1), a request made, on or after the date of commencement of this subsection, by or on behalf of a natural person for access to any personal information which is about that person shall be deemed to be a request made pursuant to subclause (1)(b) of principle 6 of the Privacy Act 1993, and shall be dealt with accordingly, and nothing in this Part or in Part 5 shall apply in relation to any such request.

(2)The official information requested shall be specified with due particularity in the request.

(3)If the person making the request asks that that request be treated as urgent, that person shall give that person's reasons for seeking the information urgently.

14Transfer of requests

Where—

(a)a request in accordance with section 12 is made to a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; and

(b)the information to which the request relates—

(i)is not held by the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation but is believed by the person dealing with the request to be held by another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or by a local authority; or

(ii)is believed by the person dealing with the request to be more closely connected with the functions of another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or of a local authority,—

the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation to which the request is made shall promptly, and in any case not later than 10 working days after the day on which the request is received, transfer the request to the other department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or to that local authority, and inform the person making the request accordingly.

12Transfer of requests

Where—

(a)a request in accordance with section 10 is made to any local authority; and

(b)the information to which the request relates—

(i)is not held by that local authority but is believed by the person dealing with the request to be held by another local authority or a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; or

(ii)is believed by the person dealing with the request to be more closely connected with the functions of another local authority or a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation,—

the chief executive of the local authority to which the request is made, or an officer or employee authorised by that chief executive, shall promptly, and in no case later than 10 working days after the day on which the request is received, transfer the request to the other local authority, or the appropriate department, Minister of the Crown, or organisation, and inform the person making the request accordingly.

15Decisions on requests

(1)Subject to this Act, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation to whom a request is made in accordance with section 12 or is transferred in accordance with section 14 of this Act or section 12 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received by that department or Minister of the Crown or organisation,—

(a)decide whether the request is to be granted and, if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any); and

(b)give or post to the person who made the request notice of the decision on the request.

(1A)Subject to section 24, every department or Minister of the Crown or organisation (including an organisation whose activities are funded in whole or in part by another person) may charge for the supply of official information under this Act.

(2)Any charge fixed shall be reasonable and regard may be had to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available and to any costs incurred pursuant to a request of the applicant to make the information available urgently.

(3)The department or Minister of the Crown or organisation may require that the whole or part of any charge be paid in advance.

(4)Where a request in accordance with section 12 is made or transferred to a department, the decision on that request shall be made by the chief executive of that department or an officer or employee of that department authorised by that chief executive unless that request is transferred in accordance with section 14 to another department or to a Minister of the Crown or to an organisation or to a local authority.

(5)Nothing in subsection (4) prevents the chief executive of a department or any officer or employee of a department from consulting a Minister of the Crown or any other person in relation to the decision that the chief executive or officer or employee proposes to make on any request made to the department in accordance with section 12 of this Act or transferred to the department in accordance with section 14 of this Act or section 12 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

13Decisions on requests

(1)Subject to this Act, the local authority to which a request is made in accordance with section 10, or is transferred in accordance with section 12 of this Act or section 14 of the Official Information Act 1982, shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, and in no case later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received by that local authority,—

(a)decide whether the request is to be granted and, if it is to be granted, in what manner and for what charge (if any); and

(b)give or post to the person who made the request notice of the decision on the request.

(1A)Subject to section 23, every local authority (including a local authority whose activities are funded in whole or in part by another person) may charge for the supply of official information under this Act.

(2)Any charge for the supply of official information under this Act shall not exceed the prescribed amount.

(3)Where no such amount is prescribed, any charge fixed shall be reasonable, and regard may be had to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available and to any costs incurred pursuant to a request of the applicant to make the information available urgently.

(4)The local authority may require that the whole or part of any charge be paid in advance.

(5)Where a request in accordance with section 10 is made or transferred to a local authority, the decision on that request shall be made by the chief executive of that local authority or an officer or employee of that local authority authorised by that chief executive unless that request is transferred in accordance with section 12 to another local authority or to a department, Minister of the Crown, or organisation.

(6)Nothing in subsection (5) prevents the chief executive of a local authority or any officer or employee of a local authority from consulting a local authority or any other person in relation to the decision that the chief executive or officer or employee proposes to make on any request made to the local authority in accordance with section 10 or transferred to the local authority in accordance with section 12 of this Act or section 14 of the Official Information Act 1982.

18Refusal of requests

A request made in accordance with section 12 may be refused only for 1 or more of the following reasons, namely:

(a)that, by virtue of section 6 or section 7 or section 9, there is good reason for withholding the information:

(b)that, by virtue of section 10, the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation does not confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the information requested:

(c)that the making available of the information requested would—

(i)be contrary to the provisions of a specified enactment; or

(ii)constitute contempt of court or of the House of Representatives:

(d)that the information requested is or will soon be publicly available:

(da)that the request is made by a defendant or a person acting on behalf of a defendant and is—

(i)for information that could be sought by the defendant under the Criminal Disclosure Act 2008; or

(ii)for information that could be sought by the defendant under that Act and that has been disclosed to, or withheld from, the defendant under that Act:

(e)that the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found:

(f)that the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research:

(g)that the information requested is not held by the department or Minister of the Crown or organisation and the person dealing with the request has no grounds for believing that the information is either—

(i)held by another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or by a local authority; or

(ii)connected more closely with the functions of another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation or of a local authority:

(h)that the request is frivolous or vexatious or that the information requested is trivial.

17Refusal of requests

A request made in accordance with section 10 may be refused only for 1 or more of the following reasons, namely:

(a)that, by virtue of section 6 or section 7, there is good reason for withholding the information:

(b)that, by virtue of section 8, the local authority does not confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the information requested:

(c)that the making available of the information requested would—

(i)be contrary to the provisions of a specified enactment; or

(ii)constitute contempt of court or of the House of Representatives:

(d)that the information requested is or will soon be publicly available:

(da)that the request is made by a defendant or a person acting on behalf of a defendant and is—

(i)for information that could be sought by the defendant under the Criminal Disclosure Act 2008; or

(ii)for information that could be sought by the defendant under that Act and that has been disclosed to, or withheld from, the defendant under that Act:

(e)that the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found:

(f)that the information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research:

(g)that the information requested is not held by the local authority and the person dealing with the request has no grounds for believing that the information is either—

(i)held by another local authority or a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; or

(ii)connected more closely with the functions of another local authority, or a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation:

(h)that the request is frivolous or vexatious or that the information requested is trivial.

28Functions of Ombudsmen

(1)It shall be a function of the Ombudsmen to investigate and review any decision by which a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation—

(a)refuses to make official information available to any person in response to a request made by that person in accordance with section 12; or

(b)decides, in accordance with section 16 or section 17, in what manner or, in accordance with section 15, for what charge a request made in accordance with section 12 is to be granted; or

(c)imposes conditions on the use, communication, or publication of information made available pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 12; or

(d)gives a notice under section 10.

(2)It shall be a function of the Ombudsmen to investigate and review any decision by which the chief executive of a department or an officer or an employee of a department authorised by its chief executive or a Minister of the Crown or an organisation extends any time limit under section 15A.

(3)An investigation and review under subsection (1) or subsection (2) may be made by an Ombudsman only on complaint being made to an Ombudsman in writing or orally.

(3A)A complaint made orally must be put in writing as soon as practicable.

(4)If, in relation to any request made in accordance with section 12, any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation fails within the time limit fixed by section 15(1) (or, where that time limit has been extended under this Act, within that time limit as so extended) to comply with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of section 15(1), that failure shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1), to be a refusal to make available the official information to which the request relates.

(5)Undue delay in making official information available in response to a request for that information, shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1), to be a refusal to make that information available.

27Functions of Ombudsmen

(1)It shall be a function of the Ombudsmen to investigate and review any decision by which a local authority—

(a)refuses to make official information available to any person in response to a request made by that person in accordance with section 10; or

(b)decides, in accordance with section 15 or section 16, in what manner or, in accordance with section 13, for what charge a request made in accordance with section 10 is to be granted; or

(c)imposes conditions on the use, communication, or publication of information made available pursuant to a request made in accordance with section 10; or

(d)gives a notice under section 8.

(2)It shall be a function of the Ombudsmen to investigate and review any decision by which the chief executive of a local authority, or an officer or employee of a local authority authorised by its chief executive, extends any time limit under section 14.

(3)An investigation and review under subsection (1) or subsection (2) may be made by an Ombudsman only on complaint being made to an Ombudsman in writing or orally.

(3A)A complaint made orally must be put in writing as soon as practicable.

(4)If, in relation to any request made in accordance with section 10, any local authority fails within the time limit fixed by section 13(1) (or, where that time limit has been extended under this Act, within the time limit as so extended) to comply with paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of section 13(1), that failure shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, to be a refusal to make available the official information to which the request relates.

(5)Undue delay in making official information available in response to a request for that information shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (1), to be a refusal to make that information available.

48Protection against certain actions

(1)Where any official information is made available in good faith pursuant to this Act,—

(a)no proceedings, civil or criminal, shall lie against the Crown or any other person in respect of the making available of that information, or for any consequences that follow from the making available of that information; and

(b)no proceedings, civil or criminal, in respect of any publication involved in, or resulting from, the making available of that information shall lie against the author of the information or any other person by reason of that author or other person having supplied the information to a department or Minister of the Crown or organisation.

(2)The making available of, or the giving of access to, any official information in consequence of a request made under this Act shall not be taken, for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence or infringement of copyright, to constitute an authorisation or approval of the publication of the document or of its contents by the person to whom the information is made available or the access is given.

41Protection against certain actions

(1)Where any official information is made available in good faith pursuant to Part 2 or Part 3 or Part 4 by any local authority,—

(a)no proceedings, civil or criminal, shall lie against the local authority or any other person in respect of the making available of that information, or for any consequences that flow from the making available of that information; and

(b)no proceedings, civil or criminal, in respect of any publication involved in, or resulting from, the making available of that information shall lie against the author of the information or any other person by reason of that author or other person having supplied the information to a local authority.

(2)The making available of, or the giving of access to, any official information in consequence of a request made under Part 2 or Part 3 or Part 4 shall not be taken, for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence or infringement of copyright, to constitute an authorisation or approval of the publication of the document or of its contents by the person to whom the information is made available or the access is given.