Official Information Act 1982

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice
23 Right of access by person to reasons for decisions affecting that person

(1)

Subject to section 6(a) to (d), section 7, section 9(2)(b), and section 10 and to subsections (2), (4), and (5), where a public service agency or Minister of the Crown or organisation makes, on or after 1 July 1983, a decision or recommendation in respect of any person, being a decision or recommendation in respect of that person in his or its personal capacity, that person has the right to and shall, on request made within a reasonable time of the making of the decision or recommendation, be given a written statement of—

(a)

the findings on material issues of fact; and

(b)

subject to subsection (2A), a reference to the information on which the findings were based; and

(c)

the reasons for the decision or recommendation.

(2)

The right conferred by subsection (1) may be exercised only by a person who is—

(a)

a New Zealand citizen; or

(b)

a permanent resident of New Zealand; or

(c)

a person who is in New Zealand; or

(d)

a body corporate which is incorporated in New Zealand; or

(e)

a body corporate which is incorporated outside New Zealand but which has a place of business in New Zealand.

(2A)

A reference to the information on which any findings were based need not be given under subsection (1)(b) if—

(a)

the disclosure of the information or of information identifying the person who supplied it, being evaluative material, would breach an express or implied promise—

(i)

which was made to the person who supplied the information; and

(ii)

which was to the effect that the information or the identity of the person who supplied it or both would be held in confidence; or

(b)

after consultation undertaken (where practicable) by or on behalf of the public service agency or Minister of the Crown or organisation with a natural person’s medical practitioner, the department (for itself and for a departmental agency hosted by it or an interdepartmental executive board serviced by it) or interdepartmental venture or Minister of the Crown or organisation is satisfied that—

(i)

the information relates to that person; and

(ii)

the disclosure of the information (being information that relates to the physical or mental health of the person making the request under this section) would be likely to prejudice the physical or mental health of that person; or

(c)

in the case of a natural person under the age of 16, the disclosure of that information would be contrary to that person’s interests; or

(d)

the disclosure of that information (being information in respect of a person who has been convicted of an offence or is or has been detained in custody) would be likely to prejudice the safe custody or the rehabilitation of that person.

(2B)

For the purposes of subsection (2A), the term evaluative material means evaluative or opinion material compiled solely—

(a)

for the purpose of determining the suitability, eligibility, or qualifications of the person to whom the material relates—

(i)

for employment or for appointment to office; or

(ii)

for promotion in employment or office or for continuation in employment or office; or

(iii)

for removal from employment or office; or

(iv)

for the awarding of contracts, awards, scholarships, honours, or other benefits; or

(b)

for the purpose of determining whether any contract, award, scholarship, honour, or benefit should be continued, modified, or cancelled; or

(c)

for the purpose of deciding whether to insure any person or property or to continue or renew the insurance of any person or property.

(3)

Sections 12(3), 13 to 15A, and 19 shall apply, with all necessary modifications, to a request made under subsection (1).

(4)

Nothing in this section entitles any person to obtain a written statement of advice given to the Sovereign or her representative.

(5)

Nothing in this section applies in respect of any decision or recommendation by Public Trust or the Maori Trustee—

(a)

in their capacity as trustee within the meaning of the Trusts Act 2019; or

(b)

in any other fiduciary capacity.

(6)

In subsection (2A)(b), medical practitioner means a health practitioner who is, or is deemed to be, registered with the Medical Council of New Zealand continued by section 114(1)(a) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 as a practitioner of the profession of medicine.

Section 23(1): amended, on 7 August 2020, by section 135 of the Public Service Act 2020 (2020 No 40).

Section 23(1): amended, on 1 April 1987, by section 4(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

Section 23(1)(b): amended, on 1 July 1993, by section 4(1) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

Section 23(2A): inserted, on 1 July 1993, by section 4(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

Section 23(2A)(b): amended, on 7 August 2020, by section 135 of the Public Service Act 2020 (2020 No 40).

Section 23(2B): inserted, on 1 July 1993, by section 4(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

Section 23(3): amended, on 1 April 1987, by section 9(2) of the Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

Section 23(5): replaced, on 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) of the Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100).

Section 23(5)(a): amended, on 30 January 2021, by section 161 of the Trusts Act 2019 (2019 No 38).

Section 23(6): inserted, on 18 September 2004, by section 175(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 (2003 No 48).