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  • Request for offender’s photo on police file

    Case notes
    Rape victim sought photograph of attacker whose face she had never seen—Police refused the request to protect the privacy of the offender—s 9(2)(a) applied—public interest in assisting victims of crime to recover from trauma and move on with their lives—balance of competing privacy and public interest considerations needed to be made—appropriate to make photograph available for viewing subject to appropriate conditions
  • Request for qualifications and work history of staff at Polytechnic Department

    Case notes
    Request for details about staff at Polytechnic—withheld under s 9(2)(a) to protect privacy—public interest in ensuring employment practices of Polytechnic are transparent and fair—met by summary release of staff details and selection process
  • Request for names and email addresses of people consulted on draft speech

    Case notes
    Recipients and senders of emails consulted—disclosure would not inhibit senior public servants from expressing free and frank opinions in future—however others would be inhibited
  • Request for ACC notice board bulletin

    Case notes
    Requester sought a copy of ACC notice board bulletin - bulletin contains commentary and advice on various court decisions - prepared by practising solicitor in his professional capacity - purpose is to give general legal advice to case managers who routinely request and rely upon it - refused under s 9(2)(h) - legal professional privilege applies - no waiver even though it was distributed widely amongst ACC staff - marked confidential and subject to privilege - no public interest in release that outweighed strong public interest in ensuring privilege is maintained.
  • Delays by Te Puni Kōkiri in responding to requests from opposition researcher

    Case notes
    Blanket policy to consult Minister on all OIA requests unlawful—Ministerial ‘clearance’ or ‘approval’ of agency OIA requests not permitted
  • OIA request extension notified outside time limit

    Case notes
    Request for large amount of information relating to tobacco control—extension to time limit for responding to request required—extension notified outside time limit in s 15A—deemed a refusal—no further investigation required as decision on request pending
  • Request by mother for copy of letter she viewed at her son’s family group conference

    Case notes
    Mother requested copy of letter she viewed at her son’s family group conference—refused under s 18(c)(i) because all FGC matters are confidential—s 38 of Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989—disclosing letter to person who attended FGC does not amount to ‘publishing’ as prohibited by s 38—letter released with proviso
  • Request for comments on early draft cabinet papers

    Case notes
    Request for documents regarding Kyoto Protocol—information contained initial Treasury comments on draft versions of cabinet paper—part of informal consultation early in policy making process—concern that release would result in officials being less co-operative and formalise the process—withholding necessary to maintain effective conduct of public affairs
  • Request for NZSIS files concerning two NZ scholars

    Case notes
    Writer sought NZSIS files on two individuals—Refused under s 6—bulk of information had been provided by overseas authorities under strict confidentiality agreements—various agencies consulted—some consented to release whereas others did not—complainant agreed to contact overseas agencies directly—ss 6(a) and 6(b) applied—release contrary to agreement would compromise quality and supply of similar information in future which would prejudice NZ’s security—some information released with identifiers deleted
  • Request by Korean company for information relating to Ministry of Defence decision not to shortlist the company

    Case notes
    Solicitors for Korean based company sought information on Ministry of Defence’s decision not to shortlist company in tender process—Ministry argued solicitors were agent for company which had no rights under the OIA—evidence suggested company had a place of business in New Zealand—s 12(1)(e) applied
  • Request for electronic copies of Ministers’ official diaries

    Case notes
    Request for electronic copies of certain Ministers’ official diaries covering a three month period—electronic copies of the diaries held only in a particular software package not available to the requester—no obligation, under the OIA, for Ministers to provide electronic copy of the diaries in another software package—technical and administrative difficulties in providing electronic copies of the diaries—s 16(2)(a) of the OIA provides grounds to refuse to provide electronic copies of the diaries
  • Request for printed copies of Ministers’ official diaries

    Case notes
    Request for printed copies of certain Ministers’ official diaries covering a three month period—printed copies of the diaries released with certain names and contact details deleted—a Minister’s diary per se is official information but not all the i
  • Request for ingredients of Foray 48B

    Case notes
    Releasing ingredients of pesticide used in aerial spraying operation would disclose a trade secret—public interest in disclosure finely balanced—s 9(2)(b)(i) provided good reason to withhold
  • Request for Crown Law opinion

    Case notes
    Request for Crown Law opinion that Creative NZ referred to in correspondence—withheld under s 9(2)(h)—legal professional privilege attached to information—whether partial disclosure of contents of opinion sufficient to constitute waiver—s 9(2)(h) applied
  • Request for land exchange agreement and valuations

    Case notes
    NZDF exchanging land with private land owners under the Public Works Act 1981—OIA request made to NZDF for copies of the exchange agreement and valuations of respective properties—NZDF refused under s 9(2)(i)—Ombudsman noted majority of information in standard form and already publicly available—unable to identify ‘commercial activity’—rather transaction was for defence purposes within the terms of the Public Works Act—NZDF released the information subject to the withholding of some information under s 9(2)(j) and s 9(2)(b)(ii)
  • Request for information relating to an investigation into alleged destruction of documents held by NZDF

    Case notes
    Request for information relating to an investigation into alleged destruction of documents held by New Zealand Defence Force—information withheld to prevent prejudice to the outcome of those inquiries—s 6(c) applied at the time the request was refused—information later released due to change in circumstances
  • Request for DHB draft annual plan

    Case notes
    District Health Board—draft annual plan—need for Board and Minister of Health to reach agreement on plan prior to release—New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000
  • Request for answers to Parliamentary questions

    Case notes
    Request to Housing New Zealand Limited for alternative Parliamentary answers prepared for Minister of Housing—request refused under s 9(2)(g)(i)—ss 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(ba)(ii) discussed—meaning of ‘officials’—obligation of confidence applied—s 9(2)(ba)(ii) applied—parliamentary process satisfied public interest
  • Application of OIA to information held by a Benefit Review Committee

    Case notes
    Application of OIA to information held by a Benefit Review Committee (BRC)—status of a BRC for the purposes of the OIA—whether a BRC is a ‘Tribunal’—information held by a BRC is subject to OIA
  • Request for draft answer to parliamentary question

    Case notes
    Request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for draft parliamentary answer prepared for Prime Minister—request refused under s 9(2)(f)(iv)—release of draft answer would undermine ability of Minister to shape answer actually given in Parliament—quality of accountability to Parliament would diminish—s 9(2)(f)(iv) applied—countervailing public interest considerations did not outweigh interest in withholding
  • Request for reports on Fire Service levy audits

    Case notes
    Request for reports on Fire Service levy audits—duty of agents of New Zealand Fire Service Commission to report results of examination of records, books and accounts of insurance companies and agents to the Commission—s 51B Fire Service Act 1975—secrecy provisions—release would be contrary to the provisions of the Fire Service Act
  • Request for information relating to the state sector wage round

    Case notes
    Request to Minister of State Services for information relating to the state sector wage round—information relating to industrial negotiating strategies withheld—concern that release would prejudice current and future negotiations and would be likely to prejudice the ability of the State Services Commission to obtain information from state sector agencies regarding industrial negotiations
  • Request to the Treasury for information relating to work on social assistance policy

    Case notes
    Request to the Treasury for information relating to work on social assistance policy—information withheld under s 9(2)(f)(iv)—information directly connected to advice to be ‘tendered’ to Ministers—release would disrupt the ability of the Minister to consider Ministry’s advice—public interest did not outweigh need to withhold
  • Request for a police report relating to the Cave Creek tragedy

    Case notes
    Request for a Police report relating to the Cave Creek tragedy—existence of the report confirmed—search undertaken in Christchurch, Greymouth and Wellington—author of report consulted, as well as members of the Commission of Inquiry—report unable to be found
  • Request for advice relating to an independent review, including legal advice transferred between agencies

    Case notes
    Request for information relating to independent review of PHARMAC’S Operating Policies and Procedures—some information withheld as it was considered legally privileged—legal advice transferred between agencies did not constitute a waiver of the privilege—common interest privilege applied
  • Decision of University Council Committee to impose conditions on use of information

    Case notes
    Decision of University Council Committee to place an ‘embargo’ on the release of information considered by the Committee—embargo prevented any independent report on the information considered by the Committee until the next meeting of the Council of the University—meeting open to public—requester entitled to a copy of the agenda, subject only to the payment of the prescribed amount
  • Request for advice to Minister where information relates to court proceedings

    Case notes
    Request for advice to Minister where Minister advising Governor-General regarding petition for exercise of Royal Prerogative of Mercy—during investigation and review convicted person instigated related court proceedings—contempt of court to disclose information—not appropriate to recommend release of any information—investigation discontinued
  • Recipient of unsolicited public release of Cabinet papers complains about deletions

    Case notes
    Recipient of unsolicited public release of Cabinet papers complained about deletions—OIA does not apply to unsolicited release of information—s 48 protections do not apply— Ombudsman lacked jurisdiction to consider complaint
  • Request for file from Department of Child, Youth and Family Services

    Case notes
    Request for file from Department of Child, Youth and Family Services—repeated undertakings to provide information by specific dates—failure to supply information or notify requester of inability to keep within the given timeframe—error of judgement acknowledged and apology provided
  • Request by shareholder of a company to the Securities Commission for a copy of a report of an investigation carried out on the company

    Case notes
    Request by a shareholder of a company to the Securities Commission for copy of a report of an investigation carried out on the company—information withheld to protect the maintenance of the law and obligations of confidence—test for withholding under s 6(c) not met—s 9(2)(ba)(i) provided good reason to withhold some information
  • Request for studies upon which Minister of Health had relied in making a public statement

    Case notes
    Request for studies upon which Minister of Health had relied in making a public statement—list of papers provided—requester disputes whether papers adequately supported her declared position—definition of ‘official information’—s 2—no requirement for holder to enter into debate—no investigation commenced
  • Charge proposed for the supply of information relating to death of New Zealander overseas  

    Case notes
    Charge levied by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade—reasonableness of charge—consistency with other charges levied for supply of similar information—public interest in reduction of charge—proposed charge unreasonable—charge reduced