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KiwiRail's processing of a request for official information

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Official Information Act 1982
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1975, ss 13, 22 Official Information Act, ss 14, 15
Peter Boshier
Case number(s):
Issue date:

In response to public concern, I have conducted a self-initiated investigation under the Ombudsmen Act (OA) of KiwiRail’s processing of an Official Information Act (OIA) request for the Third Main Business Case (the business case).

I have formed the opinion that KiwiRail did not act in a manner that was wrong, unreasonable or contrary to law in terms of the OA. However, there were aspects to the processing of this request that were less than ideal, and could be subject to a level of criticism.

I have made some suggestions for improvement, including that KiwiRail:

  • review its OIA processes;

  • consider developing, in consultation with the Minister, a protocol on dealing with OIA requests that involve the Minister; and

  • provide OIA training for its staff.

I have also identified some actions that my office can take, including producing guidance on the good government withholding grounds (addressing in part the issue of budget secrecy), and the negotiations withholding ground (section 9(2)(j) of the OIA).

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