151 Confidentiality to be maintained in respect of claimants, refugees, and protected persons

(1)

Confidentiality as to the fact that a person is a claimant, a refugee, or a protected person, and as to the particulars relating to the person’s claim or status, must at all times during and subsequent to the determination of the claim or other matter be maintained by all persons and, in a particular case, may require confidentiality to be maintained as to the very fact or existence of a claim or case, if disclosure of its fact or existence would—

(a)

tend to identify the person concerned; or

(b)

be likely to endanger the safety of any person.

(2)

Despite subsection (1), the fact of a claim or particulars relating to a claim may be disclosed—

(a)

for the purposes of determining the claim or matter, administering this Act, or determining any obligations, requirements, or entitlements of the claimant or other person concerned under any other enactment; or

(b)

for the purposes of the maintenance of the law, including for the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences in New Zealand or elsewhere; or

(c)

to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (or a representative of the High Commissioner); or

(d)

if the particulars relating to a claim are published in a manner that is unlikely to allow identification of the person concerned (whether in a published decision of the Tribunal under clause 19 of Schedule 2 or otherwise); or

(e)

if, in the circumstances of the particular case, there is no serious possibility that the safety of the claimant or any other person would be endangered by the disclosure of the information.

(3)

In determining whether information may be released under subsection (2)(e), the person considering whether to disclose the information may have regard to the protections that the person, agency, or body to whom the information is disclosed may apply to the information, including—

(a)

any applicable requirements of the Privacy Act 2020; and

(b)

any orders of the Tribunal or other court; and

(c)

any protection mechanisms that the person, agency, or body itself must or may apply.

(4)

If, in relation to a claim or particulars relating to a claim, the test in subsection (2)(e) is satisfied (the person concerned having considered the matters in subsection (3)),—

(a)

the chief executive may publish the decision of a refugee and protection officer relating to the claim if the chief executive determines that, in the circumstances of the particular case, it is in the public interest to do so:

(b)

the Attorney-General may, subject to any orders of the Tribunal, publish the decision of the Tribunal relating to the claim if the Attorney-General determines that, in the circumstances of the particular case, it is in the public interest to do so.

(5)

To avoid doubt,—

(a)

a refugee and protection officer may disclose information under subsection (2)(a) when carrying out his or her functions under section 136(2) or 149(1)(c) or (g):

(b)

the chief executive may disclose information under subsection (2)(a) when collecting information on behalf of the Tribunal under section 229:

(c)

the Tribunal may disclose information under subsection (2)(a) when carrying out its functions under section 228 or clause 10(1)(b) and (c) of Schedule 2:

(d)

for the purposes of determining a claim, or cancelling the recognition of, or ceasing to recognise, a person as a refugee or a protected person, information may be disclosed under subsection (2)(a).

(6)

Nothing in this section prevents the disclosure of the fact that a person is a claimant, a refugee, or a protected person, or disclosure of particulars in relation to a claimant, a refugee, or a protected person, to the extent that the person concerned—

(a)

has expressly waived his or her right to confidentiality under this section; or

(b)

by his or her words or actions, impliedly waived his or her right to confidentiality under this section.

Section 151(3)(a): amended, on 1 December 2020, by section 217 of the Privacy Act 2020 (2020 No 31).