21 Ombudsmen and staff to maintain secrecy

(1)

Every Ombudsman and every person holding any office or appointment under the Chief Ombudsman shall be deemed for the purposes of sections 105 and 105A of the Crimes Act 1961 to be officials.

(2)

Every Ombudsman and every such person as aforesaid shall maintain secrecy in respect of all matters that come to their knowledge in the exercise of their functions.

(3)

Every person holding any office or appointment under the Chief Ombudsman shall, before he begins to perform any official duty under this Act, take an oath, to be administered by an Ombudsman, that he will not divulge any information received by him under this Act except for the purpose of giving effect to this Act.

(4)

Notwithstanding anything in subsections (1) to (3), an Ombudsman may disclose such matters as in the Ombudsman’s opinion ought to be disclosed for the purposes of an investigation or in order to establish grounds for the Ombudsman’s conclusions and recommendations.

(5)

The power conferred by subsection (4) shall not extend to—

(a)

any matter that might prejudice—

(i)

the security, defence, or international relations of New Zealand (including New Zealand’s relations with the government of any other country or with any international organisation); or

(ii)

any interest protected by section 7 of the Official Information Act 1982; or

(iii)

the prevention, investigation, or detection of offences; or

(b)

any matter that might involve the disclosure of the deliberations of Cabinet; or

(c)

any information, answer, document, paper, or thing obtained by an Ombudsman by reason only of compliance with a requirement made pursuant to subsection (3) of section 19.

Compare: 1962 No 10 s 18

Section 21(1): amended, on 1 July 1983, by section 4 of the Ombudsmen Amendment Act (No 2) 1982 (1982 No 164).

Section 21(4): replaced, on 1 April 1987, by section 24(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

Section 21(5): inserted, on 1 April 1987, by section 24(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).