Privacy Act 1993

Before its repeal, this Act was administered by: Ministry of Justice
  • repealed
  • Privacy Act 1993: repealed, on 1 December 2020, by section 216(1) of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).

Reprint as at 1 December 2020

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Privacy Act 1993

Public Act
1993 No 28
Date of assent
17 May 1993
see section 1(2)

Privacy Act 1993: repealed, on 1 December 2020, by section 216(1) of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title and commencement
3Information held by agency
4Actions of, and disclosure of information to, staff of agency, etc
5Act to bind the Crown
6Information privacy principles
8Application of information privacy principles
9Postponement of application of principle 11 to lists used for direct marketing
10Application of principles to information held overseas
11Enforceability of principles
12Privacy Commissioner
13Functions of Commissioner
14Commissioner to have regard to certain matters
15Deputy Commissioner
16Term of office [Repealed]
17Continuation in office after term expires [Repealed]
18Vacation of office [Repealed]
19Holding of other offices
20Powers relating to declaratory judgments
21Directories of personal information
22Commissioner may require agency to supply information
23Privacy officers
24Annual report
25Further provisions relating to Commissioner
26Review of operation of Act
27Security, defence, international relations, etc
28Trade secrets
29Other reasons for refusal of requests
30Refusal not permitted for any other reason
31Restriction where person sentenced to imprisonment [Repealed]
32Information concerning existence of certain information
34Individuals may make information privacy requests
36Commissioner may authorise public sector agency to charge
39Transfer of requests
40Decisions on requests
41Extension of time limits
43Deletion of information from documents
44Reason for refusal to be given
46Codes of practice
47Proposal for issuing of code of practice
48Notification of intention to issue code
49Notification, availability, and commencement of code
50Application of Legislation Act 2012 to codes
51Amendment and revocation of codes
52Urgent issue of code
53Effect of code
54Commissioner may authorise collection, use, or disclosure of personal information
55Certain personal information excluded
56Personal information relating to domestic affairs
57Exemption for intelligence and security agencies
59Public register privacy principles
60Application of information privacy principles and public register privacy principles to public registers
61Complaints relating to compliance with principles
62Enforceability of principles
63Codes of practice in relation to public registers
64Effect of code
65Power to amend Schedule 2 by Order in Council
66Interference with privacy
68Mode of complaint
69Investigation of interference with privacy of individual
70Action on receipt of complaint
71Commissioner may decide to take no action on complaint
72Referral of complaint to Ombudsman
72AReferral of complaint to Health and Disability Commissioner
72BReferral of complaint to Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
72CReferral of complaint to overseas privacy enforcement authority
73Proceedings of Commissioner
74Settlement of complaints
75Parties to be informed of result of investigation
76Compulsory conferences
77Procedure after investigation
78Procedure in relation to charging
79Breaches of certain principles occurring before 1 July 1996
80Commissioner to report breach of duty or misconduct
81Special procedure relating to intelligence and security agencies
82Proceedings before Human Rights Review Tribunal
83Aggrieved individual may bring proceedings before Human Rights Review Tribunal
84Remedies that may be sought
85Powers of Human Rights Review Tribunal
86Right of Director of Human Rights Proceedings to appear in proceedings
87Proof of exceptions
89Certain provisions of Human Rights Act 1993 to apply
92Compliance with requirements of Commissioner
93Extension of time limit
94Protection and privileges of witnesses, etc
95Disclosures of information, etc
96Proceedings privileged
96APurpose of Part
96BRelationship between Part 9A and other law relating to information disclosure
96DInformation sharing between agencies
96EInformation sharing within agencies
96FParties to information sharing agreement
96GRepresentative parties
96HDetermining which party is lead agency
96IForm and content of information sharing agreement
96JGovernor-General may approve information sharing agreement by Order in Council
96KRequirements for Order in Council
96LFurther provisions about Order in Council
96MApplication of Legislation Act 2012
96NMatters to which relevant Minister must have regard before recommending Order in Council
96OConsultation on proposed information sharing agreement
96PCommissioner may prepare and publish report on approved information sharing agreement
96QRequirement to give notice of adverse action
96RWhen requirement to give notice of adverse action applies
96SResponsibilities of lead agency
96TReport of lead agency
96UCommissioner may specify frequency of reporting by lead agency
96VAmendment of approved information sharing agreement
96WReview of operation of approved information sharing agreement
96XReport on findings of review
96YRelevant Minister must present to House of Representatives copy of report under section 96X(1) and report setting out Government’s response
96ZPower to amend Schedule 2A
97ARelationship between Part 10 and other law relating to information disclosure
98Information matching guidelines
99Information matching agreements
100Use of results of information matching programme
101Further provisions relating to results of information matching programme
102Extension of time limit
103Notice of adverse action proposed
104Reporting requirements
105Information matching programmes to be reported on in annual report
106Review of statutory authorities for information matching
107Amendment of information matching rules
108Avoidance of controls on information matching through use of exceptions to information privacy principles
109Avoidance of controls on information matching through use of official information statutes
109APurpose of Part
109BRelationship between Part 10A and other law relating to information disclosure
109DAccess by agencies to identity information
109EManner and form of access
109FAnnual reporting requirement
109GAmendment of Schedule 4A
110ARelationship between Part 11 and other law relating to information disclosure
111Access by accessing agencies to law enforcement information
112Local authorities may be authorised to have access to law enforcement information
113Amendment of Schedule 5 [Expired]
114Expiry of power to amend Schedule 5 by Order in Council
114BProhibition on transfer of personal information outside New Zealand
114CCommissioner’s power to obtain information
114DTransfer prohibition notice
114ECommissioner may vary or cancel notice
114FOffence in relation to transfer prohibition notice
114GAppeals against transfer prohibition notice
114HApplication of Human Rights Act 1993
115Protection against certain actions
116Commissioner and staff to maintain secrecy
117Consultation with Ombudsmen
117AConsultation with Health and Disability Commissioner
117BConsultation with Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security
118Corrupt use of official information [Repealed]
119Exclusion of public interest immunity
120Adverse comment
120AResponsibility under Parts 5 and 8 for interdepartmental executive board
121Delegation of functions or powers of Commissioner [Repealed]
122Delegate to produce evidence of authority [Repealed]
123Revocation of delegations [Repealed]
124Delegation of powers by local authority
125Delegation of powers by officers of local authority
126Liability of employer and principals
128APower to amend Schedule 5A
129Amendments, repeals, and revocations
129AAmendment relating to Legislation Act 2012
129BNew section 96M substituted
130Final report of Wanganui Computer Centre Privacy Commissioner
131Privacy Commissioner to complete work in progress of Wanganui Computer Centre Privacy Commissioner
133Transitional provision
Reprint notes

An Act to promote and protect individual privacy in general accordance with the Recommendation of the Council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Concerning Guidelines Governing the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data, and, in particular,—


to establish certain principles with respect to—


the collection, use, and disclosure, by public and private sector agencies, of information relating to individuals; and


access by each individual to information relating to that individual and held by public and private sector agencies; and


to provide for the appointment of a Privacy Commissioner to investigate complaints about interferences with individual privacy; and


to provide for matters incidental thereto