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  • The OIA for Ministers and agencies: A guide to processing official information requests

    Official information
    The purpose of this guide is to assist Ministers and government agencies in recognising and responding to requests for official information under the OIA.
  • The LGOIMA for local government agencies: A guide to processing requests and conducting meetings

    Official information
    The purpose of this guide is to assist local government agencies in recognising and responding to requests for official information under the LGOIMA.
  • Making official information requests: A guide for requesters

    Official information
    If you are seeking information from a Minister, or central or local government agency, you may be able to ask for it under either the OIA or LGOIMA.
  • Dealing with OIA requests involving Ministers: A guide to transfer, consultation, and the notification of decisions on OIA requests

    Official information
    This guide provides advice for agencies dealing with OIA requests where Ministers might need to be involved.
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority not unreasonable in tender process

    Case notes
    Complaint about tender process when tenderer found its partner had also bid individually but was not informed by EECA—Ombudsman concluded the process followed was not unreasonable and had already been reviewed by independent reviewer
  • Adequacy of ex gratia payment to remedy mistake by Customs

    Case notes
    NZ Customs officer rejected passenger on flight because water damage on passport—Ombudsman found officers failed to process the passport adequately and caused considerable cost to passenger because of this failure—complainant upheld and complainant received full payment to cover financial losses
  • Department of Internal Affairs provides reasonable service and advice to traveller on temporary passport

    Case notes
    Whether the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) reasonably handled revalidation of a passport for New Zealand citizen travelling on temporary passport—Ombudsman concluded DIA had made every effort to inform the complainant of the steps needed to have his passport validated
  • Department of Internal Affairs not unreasonable to cancel passport

    Case notes
    Department of Internal Affairs—decision to recall and cancel complainant’s NZ passport – position determined by terms of legislation
  • Report on complaints arising from aerial spraying

    Systemic investigations
    In June 2003 I received complaints from Ms Jane Schaverien, then of Auckland but now of Wellington, to investigate under the Ombudsmen Act 1975 the question whether the information given to Ministers by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was inadequate regarding the possible dangers associated with the widespread concentrated use of Foray 48B in West Auckland, and in relation to the Ministry of Health, whether the Ministry had failed to pursue its responsibilities under the Health Act, 1956, or had abdicated those responsibilities in favour of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In September 2003 I received a complaint from a Hamilton resident, Ms Michelle Rhodes, in generally similar terms regarding the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. These complaints arose from the aerial spraying operations carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in West Auckland to eliminate the Painted Apple Moth, and in parts of Hamilton to eliminate the Asian Gypsy Moth. In relation to West Auckland these operations began on a comparatively small-scale in January 2002, they were continued on a much larger scale through to May 2003, and were finally completed in May 2004.
  • Department of Conservation unreasonable to cease administrative practice without notice

    Case notes
    Department of Conservation to discontinue without notice a practice which people had come to reasonably rely on—Ombudsman concludes it was unreasonable to cease this administrative practice without notice
  • Transfer of request for information on Bill from Ministry of Justice to Associate Minister

    Case notes
    Researcher complained that transfer had the effect of narrowing the scope of his request— complaint reviewed under OA—information ‘more closely connected’ to functions of Associate Minister—decision to transfer request was reasonable
  • Transfer of request from Tertiary Education Commission to Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)

    Case notes
    Minister had instructed Commission to transfer all requests regarding a training centre for his consideration—OIA does not provide for blanket policy to transfer all requests on a subject— Commission must consider requests on case by case basis—information in this case not more closely related to functions of Associate Minister—decision to transfer request contrary to law
  • Decision to transfer OIA request based on identity of requester

    Case notes
    Request for official information specifically held by Ministry of Education—Ministry transferred request to Minister of Education on the basis that the information was more closely connected to the functions of that Minister—request specifically for information held by Secretary and Ministry officials—Ministry advised Chief Ombudsman that decision to transfer based on a directive that all media requests should be transferred to Minister for reply—not sufficient grounds for transfer under s 14(b)(ii)—complaint sustained—Ministry reviewed its processes for transferring requests
  • Transfer of media request from Ministry of Education to Minister

    Case notes
    Requested information not more closely connected with the Minister’s functions—blanket policy to transfer all media requests to Minister unlawful
  • Department of Conservation within rights on Memorandum of Transfer for land easement agreement

    Case notes
    Agreement for Sale and Purchase between private landowner and Crown—creation of equitable easement—registered Memorandum of Transfer creates legal easement but excludes reference to ‘members of the public’ referred to in equitable easement—whether conduct of Department of Conservation was reasonable—Ombudsman could not assist—effect of Court of Appeal decision
  • Charge for information requested from the Minister of Revenue

    Case notes
    Request by Parliamentary Research Unit to Minister of Revenue—convention for requests to be made to appropriate Minister and not to charge for supply of information—information held by Inland Revenue Department—request not transferred by Minister but responded to by Department— ss 13, 14, 15, 18(f).
  • New Zealand Customs Service questioned over acceptance of deposit pursuant to legislation

    Case notes
    Refusal to pay interest following resolution of dispute over Customs value of goods—whether relevant documentation provided at the time of importation—whether s 140 of the Customs Act 1966 (repealed) conferred authority on Department to take deposit—investigation discontinued following discovery that company did not exist as legal entity at the time complaint was made
  • Department of Conservation resolves impasse concerning ivory-key piano held by New Zealand Customs

    Case notes
    Refusal to release piano imported from United Kingdom—family heirloom from 1920s—need for approval of Department of Conservation under CITES because of ivory content—conflict between New Zealand legislation implementing CITES and European Community Regulations—impasse resolved by acceptance of statutory declaration by family—conflict to be raised with CITES Secretariat
  • Department of Conservation enables arbitration when rents disputed by licensees occupying foreshore reserve in Marlborough Sounds

    Case notes
    Foreshore rentals charged—lack of appeal mechanism—Department of Conservation agreed to establish a rental arbitration clause in the Marlborough Sounds foreshore licences to enable licensees to challenge rental increases where conflict arose—Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint (about level of rental increase) but the outcome achieved ensures rental increases can be challenged in future
  • Department of Conservation’s actions concerning lease approval were unreasonable, causing stress and financial loss to complainant

    Case notes
    A marine farming company applied for lease under Marine Farming Act—farm already in existence when application made under new legislation—DOC rejected new lease on basis it interfered with public’s usage—matter to go to Planning Tribunal—DOC then approved lease just before Tribunal hearing—complainants claimed the whole process unfair—Ombudsman investigated—DOC agrees to make ex gratia payment to complainants
  • Coal Corporation required to minimise dust problem

    Case notes
    Adequacy of Action–Failure of Coal Corporation to alleviate a coal dust problem and coal fine pond encroachment in the direction of local residents’ houses