78A Wrongful communication, retention, or copying of official information

(1)

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who, being a person who owes allegiance to the Sovereign in right of New Zealand, within or outside New Zealand,—

(a)

knowingly or recklessly, and with knowledge that he or she is acting without proper authority, communicates any official information or delivers any object to any other person knowing that such communication or delivery is likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand; or

(b)

with intent to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand, retains or copies any official document—

(i)

which he or she knows he or she does not have proper authority to retain or copy; and

(ii)

which he or she knows relates to the security or defence of New Zealand; and

(iii)

which would, by its unauthorised disclosure, be likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand; or

(c)

knowingly fails to comply with any directions issued by a lawful authority for the return of an official document—

(i)

which is in his or her possession or under his or her control; and

(ii)

which he or she knows relates to the security or defence of New Zealand; and

(iii)

which would, by its unauthorised disclosure, be likely to prejudice seriously the security or defence of New Zealand.

(2)

In this section,—

department means a government department named in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975

object means any object which—

(a)

a department; or

(b)

a Minister of the Crown in his or her official capacity; or

(c)

an organisation; or

(d)

an officer or employee of any department or organisation in his or her capacity as such an officer or employee or in his or her capacity as a statutory officer; or

(e)

an independent contractor engaged by any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation in his or her capacity as such contractor; or

(f)

a branch or post, outside New Zealand, of a department or organisation; or

(g)

an unincorporated body (being a board, council, committee, subcommittee, or other body)—

(i)

which is established for the purpose of assisting or advising, or performing functions connected with, any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; and

(ii)

which is so established in accordance with the provisions of any enactment or by any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation,—

is entitled to have in its or his or her possession by virtue of its or his or her rights as the owner, hirer, lessee, bailee, or custodian of that object

official information

(a)

means any information held by—

(i)

a department; or

(ii)

a Minister of the Crown in his or her official capacity; or

(iii)

an organisation; or

(iv)

an officer or employee of any department or organisation in his or her capacity as such an officer or employee or in his or her capacity as a statutory officer; or

(v)

an independent contractor engaged by any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation in his or her capacity as such contractor; and

(b)

includes any information held outside New Zealand by any branch or post of—

(i)

a department; or

(ii)

an organisation; and

(c)

includes any information held by an unincorporated body (being a board, council, committee, subcommittee, or other body)—

(i)

which is established for the purpose of assisting or advising, or performing functions connected with, any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; and

(ii)

which is so established in accordance with the provisions of any enactment or by any department or Minister of the Crown or organisation

organisation means—

(a)

an organisation named in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975:

(b)

an organisation named in Schedule 1 of the Official Information Act 1982

statutory officer means a person—

(a)

holding or performing the duties of an office established by an enactment; or

(b)

performing duties expressly conferred on him or her by virtue of his or her office by an enactment.

Section 78A: inserted, on 1 July 1983, by section 2(1) of the Crimes Amendment Act (No 2) 1982 (1982 No 157).