Official Information Act

The Official Information Act (OIA) allows people in New Zealand to access official information held by government agencies. 

Te Aka Whai Ora is committed to being open, transparent, and accountable in line with New Zealand's commitment to the Open Government Partnership. 

The Official Information Act 1982(external link) (OIA) is an important tool for democracy. It allows you to make a request for official information held by New Zealand government agencies, including Te Aka Whai Ora.

We release official information to make sure there is greater awareness and public understanding of Māori health issues, our role in contributing to hauora Māori, and our commitment to hauora Māori. 

Our policies in light of the Official Information Act

Te Aka Whai Ora and the Official Information Act [PDF, 263 KB]

Te Aka Whai Ora and Proactive Releases [PDF, 224 KB] 

Official Information Act Requests Involving Ministers - Guidance [PDF, 424 KB]

Who can request information

People in New Zealand can request official government information and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.

This includes:
•    citizens
•    permanent residents
•    visitors to New Zealand
•    body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand.

What you can request

You can request official information from Te Aka Whai Ora such as:
•    reports, memos, letters, notes, advice and emails
•    tape recordings, videos or computer records
•    internal policies or guidelines for decision making
•    reasons for decisions made about you.

Before you make a request

Before making a request from Te Aka Whai Ora, the information you seek may already be available online - please check below:

Board meetings and decisions

Corporate documents

Advice provided to the Minister and Associate Ministers of Health

Official Information Act responses

Please read Te Aka Whai Ora’s entry in the Directory of Official Information [PDF, 205 KB] to find out more about our functions and responsibilities, structure, and records. The Office of the Ombudsman(external link) provides guidance on making official information requests.

Contact the right agency for the information you need

Te Aka Whai Ora can only answer requests for information that we hold. Find out what information each agency holds and their contact details in the Directory of Official Information(external link)(external link).

You can also look at the information other agencies in the health sector hold, including:

•    Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand(external link)
•    Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health(external link)
•    Public Health Agency(external link)
•    Te Aho o Te Kahu Cancer Control Agency(external link).

If we think that another agency or Minister may have the information you requested, we will transfer your request to them within 10 working days. We will let you know if we have done this and who we transferred it to.

Making an information request

If you cannot find the information you are looking for contact us to request information.

•    Email:
•    Postal address: Ministerial Services, Te Aka Whai Ora, PO Box 793, Wellington 6140

What to include in your request

Include the following:

•    your name
•    your contact address (email or postal)
•    details of the information you want
•    format to receive information (Word, PDF etc.)
•    details of the timeframes of the information you want — this needs to be clear and specific.

We may contact you if we need more information.

How long your request will take

We will acknowledge your request and give you a decision as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.

If we need more time, for example, if you're requesting a lot of information, we may need to extend the timeframe. We'll let you know if this happens and give you an idea of a timeframe. From 25 December to 14 January is not considered 'working days'.

If you need to change your request

Contact us to change your request. The 20 working days will start from the day after we receive your request to change.

Official information calculators | Office of the Ombudsman(external link)

If we need to clarify your request within the first 7 working days, the 20 working day timeframe will begin again once the clarified request is confirmed.

Withholding information under the OIA

Under the OIA, information should be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it. We can only withhold information for specific reasons set out in the Act. If this happens, we will let you know why.

Refer to sections 6, 9 and 18 of the OIA(external link)

Costs of making a request

Requesting official information is free, but sometimes we may need to charge a fee if it will take a lot of work to supply the information. The charging guidelines for official information can be found here.

Ministry of Justice(external link)

We'll discuss this with you if we determine that we need to do this.

Sort out a problem with a request

If you're not happy with our response, email us to see if we can resolve the problem.

Guidance on how agencies will respond is provided by the Office of the Ombudsman and Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission.

Making a complaint to the Ombudsman

You can also make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:
•    have concerns about the decision we made on your request
•    withholding of information
•    extending the timeframe to respond to you
•    any charges for providing the information you've requested
•    delays in providing you with a decision or the information
•    your request being transferred.

The Office of the Ombudsman(external link) can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.

Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission(external link)

Responses may be made publicly available

Any request made under the OIA may be released by Te Aka Whai Ora once it's completed and sent to you. We will let you know if we are going to do this.

Your personal information will be removed from the published version.

If you make a request via, the response will be public information as soon as Te Aka Whai Ora publishes its response.

Request personal information about yourself

You can ask Te Aka Whai Ora for personal information that you think we might hold about you.

Requesting personal information about yourself | Office of the Privacy Commissioner(external link)

Useful links
•    Official Information Act 1982 legislation(external link)
•    Ombudsman’s Official Information legislation guides(external link)
•    Directory of Official Information | Ministry of Justice(external link) – for information on other public sector agencies  
•    OIA guidance | Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission(external link)
•    OIA statistics | Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission(external link)
•    NZ.Stat table viewer | Stats NZ(external link)

Related pages

•    Our OIA responses