42 Protection of sensitive information

(1)

A local authority may, on its own motion or on the application of any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings, make an order described in subsection (2) where it is satisfied that the order is necessary—

(a)

to avoid serious offence to tikanga Maori or to avoid the disclosure of the location of waahi tapu; or

(b)

to avoid the disclosure of a trade secret or unreasonable prejudice to the commercial position of the person who supplied, or is the subject of, the information,—

and, in the circumstances of the particular case, the importance of avoiding such offence, disclosure, or prejudice outweighs the public interest in making that information available.

(2)

A local authority may make an order for the purpose of subsection (1)—

(a)

that the whole or part of any hearing or class of hearing at which the information is likely to be referred to, shall be held with the public excluded (which order shall, for the purposes of subsections (3) to (5) of section 48 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, be deemed to be a resolution passed under that section):

(b)

prohibiting or restricting the publication or communication of any information supplied to it, or obtained by it, in the course of any proceedings, whether or not the information may be material to any proposal, application, or requirement.

(3)

An order made under subsection (2)(b) in relation to—

(a)

any matter described in subsection (1)(a) may be expressed to have effect from the commencement of any proceedings to which it relates and for an indefinite period or until such date as the local authority considers appropriate in the circumstances:

(b)

any matter described in subsection (1)(b) may be expressed to have effect from the commencement of any proceedings to which it relates but shall cease to have any effect at the conclusion of those proceedings—

and upon the date that such order ceases to have effect, the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 shall apply accordingly in respect of any information that was the subject of any such order.

(4)

Any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings before a local authority may apply to the Environment Court for an order under section 279(3)(a) cancelling or varying any order made by the local authority under this section.

(5)

Where, on the application of any party to any proceedings or class of proceedings, a local authority has declined to make an order described in subsection (2), that party may apply to the Environment Court for an order under section 279(3)(b).

(6)

In this section—

(a)

information includes any document or evidence:

(b)

local authority includes—

(i)

a board of inquiry appointed under section 47 or 149J:

(ia)

a local board:

(ii)

a community board:

(iii)

a public body:

(iv)

a special tribunal:

(v)

a person given authority to conduct hearings under any of sections 33, 34, 34A, 117, and 202.

Section 42(4): amended, on 2 September 1996, pursuant to section 6(2)(a) of the Resource Management Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 160).

Section 42(5): amended, on 2 September 1996, pursuant to section 6(2)(a) of the Resource Management Amendment Act 1996 (1996 No 160).

Section 42(6)(b): replaced, on 1 October 2009, by section 39 of the Resource Management (Simplifying and Streamlining) Amendment Act 2009 (2009 No 31).

Section 42(6)(b)(ia): inserted, on 8 August 2014, by section 78 of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 (2014 No 55).