The Official Information Act allows New Zealanders to make requests for information relating to our work, including the advice we provide to our Minister.

The Official Information Act promotes openness and transparency and enables greater public participation in government. It holds government and government agencies to account. We support those principles.

How to make a request

To assist us, and to ensure you receive the correct information, your request should be clear and as specific as possible. We need to have a good idea of the information you would like us to look for. Try to be as specific as you can about the subject matter, dates and types of documents you are looking for. We will contact you for clarification, if necessary.

If you would like to make a request to us, it helps if you could put it in writing.

If your request is by phone or in person, we will either confirm in writing or, if we are unsure about what information you need, ask you to put your request in writing.

The Official Information Act requires us to provide you with a response in 20 working days (around four weeks). We can extend the deadline if there is a lot of documentation in scope of your request or if we need to consult with other people or agencies to make our final decision.

Certain sections of the Official Information Act allow us to redact information for reasons such as:

  • personal privacy
  • legal professional privilege
  • commercial sensitivity, and
  • some processes around the preparation and presentation of departmental advice to Ministers.

These withholding grounds are in sections 6, 9 and 27 of the Official Information Act.

You can find more information about these grounds on the Office of the Ombudsman’s website(external link).

For media enquiries, email media@ethniccommunities.govt.nz.

Further information

There are two main types of Official Information Act request:

  • requests under Part 2 of the Official Information Act, for general information held or created by the Ministry, and
  • requests under Part 4 of the Official Information Act, made by bodies corporate, for information we hold about them.

If you want to request the information we hold about you, we would consider that request under the Privacy Act 1993. In this case, we recommend you visit the Privacy Commissioner’s website and use the AboutMe tool(external link).

You can find more information about making an Official Information Act request on the Ombudsman’s website(external link)

We recommend checking whether we are the agency most likely to hold the information you are looking for. The Ministry of Justice maintain a list of agencies and their responsibilities(external link).

The Beehive website has the list of Ministers and their portfolio responsibilities(external link). If you make a request that is better responded to by another agency or Minister, we may organise to have the request transferred.

It is also worth checking if the information you are looking for is already available:

Office of the Ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the response to a request you can ask the Office of the Ombudsman to review it(external link).

 

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