Request for TVNZ footage of court case

Commercial
Legislation:
Official Information Act 1982
Section 9
Legislation display text:
Official Information Act 1982, s 9(2)(i)
Agency:
Television New Zealand
Ombudsman:
John Belgrave
Case number(s):
A12172
Issue date:
Language:
English

Footage could be used by other producers and so disadvantage TVNZ in carrying out its commercial activity as a broadcaster of news, current affairs and documentaries—s 9(2)(i) applies

A requester sought TVNZ’s full footage of a court case. The request was refused under section 9(2)(i) (commercial activities) and the requester complained to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman formed the opinion that section 9(2)(i) provided a good reason to withhold a copy of the footage. The raw footage shot by TVNZ is the basis for many of its news items and is often retained for possible future use. Release of the information would limit its potential value for use by TVNZ in future, and could enable it to be used by other producers, and so disadvantage TVNZ in carrying out its commercial activity as a broadcaster of news, current affairs and documentaries.

There was no overriding public interest in release in this case. However, the Ombudsman left open the possibility of the requester arranging with TVNZ to view the footage, rather than receive a copy of it.

This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.

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