Part 1
Preliminary provisions

2 Interpretation
  • (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    action includes failure to act; and also includes any policy or practice

    agency

    • (a) means any person or body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, and whether in the public sector or the private sector; and, for the avoidance of doubt, includes a department; but

    • (b) does not include—

      • (i) the Sovereign; or

      • (ii) the Governor-General or the Administrator of the Government; or

      • (iii) the House of Representatives; or

      • (iv) a member of Parliament in his or her official capacity; or

      • (v) the Parliamentary Service Commission; or

      • (vi) the Parliamentary Service, except in relation to personal information about any employee or former employee of that agency in his or her capacity as such an employee; or

      • (vii) in relation to its judicial functions, a court; or

      • (viii) in relation to its judicial functions, a tribunal; or

      • (ix) an Ombudsman; or

      • (x) a Royal Commission; or

      • (xii) a commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed, pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act, to inquire into a specified matter; or

      • (xiii) in relation to its news activities, any news medium; or

      • (xiv) an inquiry to which section 6 of the Inquiries Act 2013 applies

    collect does not include receipt of unsolicited information

    Commissioner means the Privacy Commissioner referred to in section 12 of this Act and appointed in accordance with section 28(1)(b) of the Crown Entities Act 2004

    correct, in relation to personal information, means to alter that information by way of correction, deletion, or addition; and correction has a corresponding meaning

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

    Deputy Commissioner means the Deputy Privacy Commissioner appointed under section 15

    Director of Human Rights Proceedings means the Director of Human Rights Proceedings or alternate Director of Human Rights Proceedings appointed under section 20A of the Human Rights Act 1993

    document means a document in any form; and includes—

    • (a) any writing on any material:

    • (b) any information recorded or stored by means of any tape recorder, computer, or other device; and any material subsequently derived from information so recorded or stored:

    • (c) any label, marking, or other writing that identifies or describes any thing of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means:

    • (d) any book, map, plan, graph, or drawing:

    • (e) any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other device in which 1 or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced

    enactment means any provision of—

    • (a) any Act of Parliament; or

    • (b) any legislative instrument within the meaning of the Legislation Act 2012 made by Order in Council

    Human Rights Review Tribunal or Tribunal means the Human Rights Review Tribunal continued by section 93 of the Human Rights Act 1993

    individual means a natural person, other than a deceased natural person

    individual concerned, in relation to personal information, means the individual to whom the information relates

    information matching programme has the meaning given to it by section 97

    information privacy principle or principle means any of the information privacy principles set out in section 6

    information privacy request has the meaning given to it by section 33

    intelligence organisation means—

    • (a) the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service; and

    • (b) the Government Communications Security Bureau

    international organisation means any organisation of States or Governments of States or any organ or agency of any such organisation; and includes the Commonwealth Secretariat

    local authority

    • (a) means a local authority or public body named or specified in Schedule 1 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987; and

    • (b) includes—

      • (i) any committee or subcommittee or standing committee or special committee or joint standing committee or joint special committee which the local authority is empowered to appoint under its standing orders or rules of procedure or under any enactment or Order in Council constituting the local authority or regulating its proceedings; and

      • (ii) a committee of the whole local authority

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

    news activity means—

    • (a) the gathering of news, or the preparation or compiling of articles or programmes of or concerning news, observations on news, or current affairs, for the purposes of dissemination to the public or any section of the public:

    • (b) the dissemination, to the public or any section of the public, of any article or programme of or concerning—

      • (i) news:

      • (ii) observations on news:

      • (iii) current affairs

    news medium means any agency whose business, or part of whose business, consists of a news activity; but, in relation to principles 6 and 7, does not include Radio New Zealand Limited or Television New Zealand Limited

    Ombudsman means an Ombudsman appointed under the Ombudsmen Act 1975

    organisation

    • (a) means—

      • (i) an organisation named in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975; and

      • (ii) an organisation named in Schedule 1 of the Official Information Act 1982; and

    • (b) includes—

      • (i) the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives:

      • (ii) an intelligence organisation

    permanent resident of New Zealand means a person who—

    • (a) resides in New Zealand; and

    • (b) is not—

      • (i) a person to whom section 15 or 16 of the Immigration Act 2009 applies (except if the person has been granted a visa or entry permission in accordance with section 17 of that Act); or

      • (ii) a person obliged by or under that Act to leave New Zealand immediately or within a specified time; or

      • (iii) treated for the purposes of that Act as being unlawfully in New Zealand

    personal information means information about an identifiable individual; and includes information relating to a death that is maintained by the Registrar-General pursuant to the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995, or any former Act (as defined by the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995)

    public register has the meaning given to it in section 58

    public register privacy principle has the meaning given to it in section 58

    public sector agency

    • (a) means an agency that is a Minister, a department, an organisation, or a local authority; and

    • (b) includes any agency that is an unincorporated body (being a board, council, committee, or other body)—

      • (i) which is established for the purpose of assisting or advising, or performing functions connected with, any public sector agency within the meaning of paragraph (a); and

      • (ii) which is so established in accordance with the provisions of any enactment or by any such public sector agency

    publicly available information means personal information that is contained in a publicly available publication

    publicly available publication means a magazine, book, newspaper, or other publication that is or will be generally available to members of the public; and includes a public register

    responsible Minister means the Minister of Justice

    serious threat, for the purposes of principle 10(d) or 11(f), means a threat that an agency reasonably believes to be a serious threat having regard to all of the following:

    • (a) the likelihood of the threat being realised; and

    • (b) the severity of the consequences if the threat is realised; and

    • (c) the time at which the threat may be realised

    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 that person by virtue of that person's office by an enactment

    unique identifier means an identifier—

    • (a) that is assigned to an individual by an agency for the purposes of the operations of the agency; and

    • (b) that uniquely identifies that individual in relation to that agency;—

    but, for the avoidance of doubt, does not include an individual's name used to identify that individual

    working day means any day of the week other than—

    • (a) Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Labour Day, the Sovereign's birthday, and Waitangi Day; and

    • (ab) if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the following Monday; and

    • (b) a day in the period commencing with 25 December in any year and ending with 15 January in the following year.

    (2) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the fact that any body (being a commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed, by any provision of an Act, to inquire into a specified matter) is not excluded from the definition of the term agency in subsection (1) by virtue of subparagraph (xii) of paragraph (b) of that definition does not mean that such a body is not excluded from that definition by virtue of subparagraph (vii) or subparagraph (viii) of that paragraph.

    Compare: 1982 No 156 s 2; 1983 No 83 s 2; 1985 No 128 s 71(3); 1987 No 8 s 2; 1987 No 174 s 2

    Section 2(1) agency paragraph (b)(viii): amended, on 3 September 1996, by section 2(1) of the Privacy Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 142).

    Section 2(1) agency paragraph (b)(xiv): inserted, on 27 August 2013, by section 39 of the Inquiries Act 2013 (2013 No 60).

    Section 2(1) Commissioner: replaced, on 25 January 2005, by section 200 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Section 2(1) Complaints Review Tribunal or Tribunal: repealed, on 1 January 2002, by section 71(1) of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    Section 2(1) Director of Human Rights Proceedings: inserted, on 1 January 2002, by section 71(1) of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    Section 2(1) enactment paragraph (b): replaced, on 5 August 2013, by section 77(3) of the Legislation Act 2012 (2012 No 119).

    Section 2(1) Human Rights Review Tribunal or Tribunal: inserted, on 1 January 2002, by section 71(1) of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    Section 2(1) news medium: amended, on 5 July 1996, by section 2 of the Radio New Zealand Act (No 2) 1995 (1995 No 53).

    Section 2(1) permanent resident of New Zealand: replaced, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 2(1) personal information: replaced, on 3 September 1996, by section 2(3) of the Privacy Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 142).

    Section 2(1) personal information: amended, on 27 February 2013, by section 4(1) of the Privacy Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 1).

    Section 2(1) personal information: amended, on 24 January 2009, by section 47 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 48).

    Section 2(1) Proceedings Commissioner: repealed, on 1 January 2002, by section 71(1) of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    Section 2(1) serious threat: inserted, on 27 February 2013, by section 4(2) of the Privacy Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 1).

    Section 2(1) working day paragraph (ab): inserted, on 1 January 2014, by section 8 of the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 19).