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  • Request for information about members of boards for which Minister of Maori Affairs responsible

    Case notes
    Request for information about members of boards for which Minister of Maori Affairs responsible—information withheld under s 9(2)(a)—some information already publicly available—a strong privacy interest did not attach to names and terms of appointment of board members of Maori Trust Boards and the Maori Soldiers Trust Central Committee—public interest in release
  • Request for complete rate records

    Case notes
    Request for city council’s complete rate records—request refused under s7(2)(a)—consideration of s 115(2) of Rating Powers Act and ss 7(1), 7(2), 60(3) of the Privacy Act—information released
  • Request for details of severance payment and salary relating to second tier manager

    Case notes
    Request for details of payments made to former employee of Airways Corporation—information refused under s 9(2)(a) and s 9(2)(b)(ii)—release of salary information in a $20,000 band struck the right balance between the established privacy interest and the public interest in disclosure
  • Request for health information about person charged with murder

    Case notes
    Request for information about care of patient by mental health services of person charged with murder—information withheld under s 6(c) to avoid prejudice to right to a fair trial
  • Request for information relating to proposed visit of US Navy ship

    Case notes
    Request for information relating to proposed visit in 1985 of USS Buchanan to New Zealand—information withheld under s 6(a) and s 6(b)(i)—conventions of international diplomacy—release would be likely to prejudice the international relations of the Government and the entrusting of information by another State
  • Request for information about submissions received on marine reserve application

    Case notes
    Request for information about submissions on marine reserve application—refused under s 18(f)—20 bound files of submissions—8-9 hours of staff time to respond to the requests did not amount to ‘substantial collation and research’—Department ultimately allowed requester to personally research the 20 bound files to collate the information sought
  • Request for report by District Inspector into care by mental health services of person convicted of murder

    Case notes
    Request for report by District Inspector into care by mental health services of person convicted of murder—much of the information withheld to protect privacy of individuals—some information already publicly available in course of offender’s trial—public interest in District Inspector’s findings—most information released
  • Request for names of proposed appointees to four Maori Development Commissions

    Case notes
    Request for names of proposed appointees to four Maori Development Commissions—some information refused under s 18(d) as appointments soon to be announced—s 9(2)(a) applied to the remainder of the information which was a preliminary list of nominations
  • Request by non-custodial parent for children’s school reports which children asked not to provide

    Case notes
    Request by non-custodial parent for children’s school reports—children asked school not to make reports available—reports addressed principally to caregiver—matters to be reported under section 77 of the Education Act—section 9(2)(a) made out—public interest met by separate report prepared on matters under section 77 of the Education Act
  • Request by natural mother for maternity notes and paediatric files of her children who were in interim High Court wardship

    Case notes
    Request by natural mother for maternity notes and paediatric files of her children—children in interim High Court wardship—information previously made available—s 9(2)(a) outweighed by public interest in access to the information for the purposes of custody hearing
  • Requests for CYPF case reviews

    Case notes
    Requests for case reviews by Children, Young Persons and their Families Service—information withheld under ss 9(2)(a) and 9(2)(g)(i)—private information—social workers should not be discouraged unnecessarily from giving frank accounts of difficult cases where hindsight might identify some error of judgement—some information in case reviews can be withheld—also s 9(1) public interest considerations relating to information about standard of care and remedial action taken in respect of identified deficiencies—consideration of ss 16 and 17—public interest met by publication of comprehensive summary of relevant issues
  • Request for information relating to local authority resource consent fee

    Case notes
    Request for variety of information relating to local authority resource consent fee—numerous previous requests for official information—some information refused under s 17(h)—requests not deemed frivolous or vexatious, but information could not be made available without substantial collation and research
  • Request for names of informants

    Case notes
    Request for names of informants—information withheld under section 6(a)—general approach applied
  • Request by grandfather for address of grandchildren

    Case notes
    Request by grandfather for address of grandchildren—children in custody of father—address known to requester’s daughters—without more information about the family relationships, disclosure of the address under the OIA would infringe the children’s privacy—good reason to withhold under s 9(2)(a).
  • Request for documentation relating to resignation of West Coast Regional Conservator

    Case notes
    Section 9(2)(a) applied to the detailed information requested—public interest considerations under s 9(1) required disclosure of general level of financial settlement and provision for contingent liabilities
  • Charge levied by Ministry of Health for provision of information about contraceptive pills

    Case notes
    Charge levied by Ministry of Health for provision of information about contraceptive pills—release of the information would likely contribute significantly to the medical profession’s understanding of Ministry’s decision making process—charge waived on public interest grounds
  • Local Authority rejects Ombudsman’s recommendation to monitor nuisance as required under RMA

    Case notes
    Local Authority failed to respond to complaints from residents about dust and noise nuisance. What it should have done was to consider complaints from residents by undertaking relevant surveys and tests to determine the extent of the problem being complained about (this is a responsibility under ss17 and 35 of the Resource Management Act 1991)—complaint sustained —Ombudsman recommended the Local Authority monitor noise and nuisance effects—recommendation rejected
  • Local Authority issued a Project Information Memorandum (PIM) unlawfully

    Case notes
    Property developer changed basis of development and obtained new Project Information Memorandum (PIM) containing conditions not prescribed in s 31(2) of the Building Act 1991—complainant considered the contents of the PIM unauthorised as the changes had not been agreed to by purchasers of the owner developing the property and action incurring legal expenses—Ombudsman found PIM not issued lawfully but agreed for Authority to amend the PIM to comply with LGOIMA—complainant offered ex gratia payment in recognition of legal costs incurred
  • Local Authority issues non-notified resource consent for vacant site

    Case notes
    Non-notified resource consent application granted for vacant site – neighbours claimed damage resulted from excavations and complained about the height of the building erected—Ombudsman investigated and found no apparent breach of s 94 of the Resource Management Act or District Plan rules and concluded the Local Authority was not unreasonable to issue a non-notified consent in this case—complaint not sustained—question of liability for damage allegedly incurred by complainants was a civil matter to be pursued in the courts
  • New Zealand Post accepts recommendation to undertake gate delivery on steep rural street

    Case notes
    New Zealand Post refused to do a gate delivery in rural area because of the state of the road—Ombudsman considered NZP’s reasons and sought advice from Transit New Zealand about the state of the road—report showed it was not as steep as others in the area where deliveries were made—complaint upheld that the refusal to deliver to the gate was unreasonable and discriminatory between residents in different areas—NZP accepted finding and delivery to the gate was commenced
  • Immigration Service allows refugee status claimants to record refugee claimant interviews

    Case notes
    Refugee status claim—refusal to permit tape-recording of interview—practice based on need to preserve confidentiality and potential for recording to intimidate, unsettle or distract claimant—concerns not applicable where claimant requests recording—recording permitted
  • New Zealand Post reconsiders redirection policy for student hostel residents

    Case notes
    Misleading advertising re mail redirection service—not available to students in halls of residence—review of policy in specific case, not of general application
  • Tenancy Tribunal’s officer changed Tribunal hearing date without authority

    Case notes
    Tenancy Officer changed a hearing date which amounted to an adjournment—following the Ombudsman’s inquiries, the Ministry of Housing (which managed the Tenancy Tribunal) accepted the tenancy officer failed to follow the law when agreeing to change the date of the hearing after the landlord requested the change—the Ministry sent a memorandum to all staff clarifying the role of Tenancy Services where a party asked for a date change—apology sent to the complainant
  • New Zealand Immigration Service must provide opportunity to comment on potentially prejudicial information

    Case notes
    Application for extension to visitor’s permit—application declined on basis of an assumption about the applicant—assumption prejudicial to applicant—applicant entitled to opportunity to comment on prejudicial information before decision—NZIS agreed to review application
  • Department of Corrections accepts obligation to consider inmates’ circumstances when deciding work and educational paroles

    Case notes
    Refusal of work and educational paroles before inmate appeared before National Parole Board—inflexible policy inconsistent with concept of individual case management—review resulted in detailed case management plan for inmate
  • Local Authorities should avoid unnecessary delay processing resource consents

    Case notes
    Time limits for decisions made in respect of resource consent applications—ss 21 and 115 of the Resource Management Act—processing delays—responsibility of local authorities to avoid unreasonable delays