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  • Requests for documents concerning the Government’s proposed mixed ownership programme

    Opinions
    This document summarises the opinion formed by me in relation to three Official Information Act (OIA) complaints.
  • Request for breakdown of invoice

    Case notes
    Council concerned that request was part of a strategy to delay or avoid payment—no basis to believe request was made in bad faith—request not frivolous or vexatious—information should be released
  • Request by company for information relating to how its tender responses were evaluated

    Case notes
    Request for reference checks—section 26(1)(c) applied
  • Request for record of Council’s meeting with neighbour

    Case notes
    Releasing the record of a meeting conducted on a confidential and without prejudice basis would make it harder to resolve the matter and disadvantage the Council in its negotiations—s 7(2)(i) applies
  • Request for draft documents, internal emails, handwritten notes regarding Government response to Law Commission discussion paper

    Case notes
    Disclosure of draft documents would inhibit future expression of free and frank opinions by officials—s 9(2)(g)(i) applies
  • Request for legal opinions concerning Russian adoptions

    Case notes
    Request for legal opinions concerning Russian adoptions—withheld to maintain legal professional privilege—s 9(2)(h)—public disclosures of first opinion meant waiver had occurred—s 9 ‘necessity’ test not met—while section 9(2)(h) applies to second opinion need to withhold outweighed by a strong public interest in release of the information (with the exception of three paragraphs)
  • Request for Ministerial briefing on Auckland CBD rail loop

    Case notes
    Disclosure of ministerial briefing conveyed under pressure of time would inhibit future expression of free and frank opinions by officials—s 9(2)(g)(i) applied—public interest met by release of later document
  • Request for internal complaint assessment memorandum

    Case notes
    Disclosure of preliminary complaint assessment memo would make complaints assessment staff reluctant in future to fully express their views in writing—s 9(2)(g)(i) provides good reason to withhold
  • Annual Report 2010/2011

    Annual reports
    The past year has seen consolidation of our efforts to improve work practices within the Office and improve our service to complainants and agencies. The final tranche of work to complete the restructuring and renewal of the Office will take place early in the 2011/2012 financial year.
  • Request for audit report of approved organisation under Animal Welfare Act

    Case notes
    Acrimonious history and prolonged legal dispute were relevant to decision whether or not request was vexatious—while future similar requests might be vexatious this one was not—the requester’s legitimate concern about effectiveness of Ministry’s oversight of approved organisations was the catalyst for the audit report, and she was initially promised a copy of it—requester was genuinely interested in and entitled to know the findings—request not frivolous or vexatious—Trust does not have a commercial position—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply
  • Request for information on taser use

    Case notes
    Review and manual extraction of details from 282 tactical operations reports—s 18(f) applied
  • Request for information about Pike River Mine

    Case notes
    Section 6(c) OIA applied—release of information directly relevant to the Royal Commission of Inquiry would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of the Inquiry
  • Request for copy of file of deceased brother held by NZSIS

    Case notes
    Releasing information in alternative form enabled accountability without prejudicing security or efficient working of agency
  • Request for total amounts paid for parking services

    Case notes
    Release of total amounts paid would not unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the incumbent providers in future tender rounds, nor would it disadvantage the Council in carrying on negotiations—ss 7(2)(b)(ii) and 7(2)(i) do not apply
  • Request for property valuation data which was available for purchase

    Case notes
    Information available for a charge is publicly available—s 17(d) applied
  • Request for information about the operation of the Spring Creek Coal Mine

    Case notes
    Information was ‘official information’—Section 6(c) OIA did not apply—information not directly relevant to inquiry—release not likely to prejudice the effective conduct of the Royal Commission of Inquiry
  • Request for crisis group reports and working material regarding Government’s response to kidnapping

    Case notes
    Request for information about Government’s response to kidnapping of NZ resident in Baghdad—s 9(2)(g)(i) provides good reason to withhold crisis group reports and working material but not the final review of the hostage-taking—public interest met by disclosure of final review—final review released with redactions
  • Request for individual’s immigration history

    Case notes
    Privacy ground applied and not outweighed by public interest because discovery available
  • Securities Commission did not unreasonably apply conflict of interest policy and procedure

    Case notes
    Whether the Securities Commission’s policy and procedures relating to the management of conflicts of interest were applied appropriately in this case—Chief Ombudsman concluded the Commission did not act unreasonably
  • District Health Board’s processes regarding informed consent for assisted reproductive procedure not unreasonable

    Case notes
    Whether a District Health Board (DHB) failed to ensure the complainant received adequate professional advice before being required to sign a legal document surrendering substantial legal rights—whether that document was ‘informed consent’—Ombudsman concluded DHB had not acted unreasonably in this matter
  • Investigation of the Department of Corrections in relation to the complaint procedures of Corrections Inmate Employment

    Systemic investigations
    Corrections Inmate Employment (CIE) is a branch of the Department of Corrections’ (the Department) Rehabilitation and Re-integration Services group. It operates various industries at the prisons, which afford prisoners employment while they are in prison. Following the receipt of complaints from prisoners employed by CIE, concern was expressed about how CIE was handling prisoners’ complaints. I was uncertain whether this concern was justified. I decided it was appropriate on my own motion to undertake an investigation into the efficiency and effectiveness of the complaint procedures by which prisoners employed by CIE may complain to the Department about CIE and its staff.
  • Complaint by the Hubbard Support Team and others concerning a recommendation for statutory management made by the Securities Commission to the Minister of Commerce on 19 June 2010

    Opinions
    The Complaint In July 2010, I received a complaint from members of the Hubbard Support Team and others concerning a recommendation that was made by the Securities Commission (Commission), acting by division, to the Minister of Commerce (
  • Statement of Intent 2011/14

    Strategic intentions
    This statement of intent sets out the nature and scope of our functions, the strategic direction of our organisation, what we are hoping to achieve, and some key measures.
  • Request for reports of unannounced inspections of rest homes and hospitals

    Case notes
    Release of adverse findings might damage providers’ reputations and therefore their commercial position, but this would not be unreasonable—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply—public interest in promoting public safety and consumer protection
  • Request for draft public consultation document

    Case notes
    Only minor differences between draft and final consultation document—final consultation document was publicly available—release would not inhibit the free and frank expression of opinions necessary for the effective conduct of public affairs
  • Request for / disclosure of building consent information

    Opinions
    This investigation has been into the extent to which personal details may be withheld from building consent information held by local authorities.
  • Request for internal discussion paper on privatisation

    Case notes
    Two drafts of an internal discussion paper commissioned by Treasury’s Executive Leadership Team—Government had not sought advice on the issue—s 9(2)(g)(i) provides good reason to withhold
  • Request for identities of guests who dined at a council’s expense

    Case notes
    Accountability for spending public money—level of disquiet, speculation or controversy—s 7(2)(a) did not provide good reason to withhold
  • Complaints arising out of bullying at Hutt Valley High School in December 2007

    Systemic investigations
    This is a report on an investigation into a series of violent incidents that occurred at Hutt Valley High School in December 2007. The incidents attracted considerable media attention and led to wider studies of bullying in schools by the Commissioner for Children and the Human Rights Commission.
  • 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 copy of competitor’s licence deed

    Case notes
    Ferry service operator requested copy of competitor’s licence deed from ferry terminal facility owner—request refused under s 7(2)(b)(ii) LGOIMA on basis release would prejudice commercial position of licensee—licensee argued that it had originally negotiated licence in atmosphere of complete commercial confidentiality with then port authority at a time when neither party was subject to LGOIMA—Ombudsman considered s 8 LGOIMA and s 75 Local Government Act 2002—neither Act contains transitional or saving provisions concerning information held by private bodies that later become subject to this legislation—request for such information should therefore be considered in same way as any other LGOIMA request—Ombudsman found no commercial prejudice likely and strong public interest in release—facility owner released information.