Have your say about access to official information

Closed 18 Apr 2019

Opened 8 Mar 2019


The Ministry of Justice wants to hear your views on how the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) is working in practice, to inform a decision on whether to progress a review of this legislation. Your feedback will help inform a decision by Government on whether to review it, or whether instead to keep the focus on practice improvements.

The OIA allows people to request official information held by Ministers and specified government agencies. It contains rules for how such requests should be handled and provides a right to complain to the Ombudsman in certain situations.

The Law Commission’s 2012 review of official information legislation The Public’s Right to Know recommended a number of changes to the OIA, some of which resulted in amendments.

In recent years, the focus has been on improving agency performance on implementing the spirit and intent of the OIA. The Office of the Ombudsman has done significant work on the interpretation and application of the OIA, and on its complaint resolution activities. At the same time, the Ministry of Justice and, more recently, the State Services Commission have been providing guidance on OIA practice and reporting on compliance with the OIA.

Open Government Partnership

The government has recently worked with civil society to develop New Zealand’s third Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2018-2020.

The Plan includes a commitment to test the merits of undertaking a review of the OIA and provide and publish advice to government by June 2019.

The consultation on New Zealand’s third National Action Plan resulted in a number of suggestions from civil society, academics and other members of the public relating to the OIA. These will provide a good starting point for our thinking on this issue.


You can also email your feedback to oiafeedback@justice.govt.nz.

Start and close dates

Consultation is open from 9 to 16 April 2019. Feedback closes at 5pm on Thursday, 16 April 2019.

How we will use your feedback

Your feedback will help us get different perspectives on the issues involved to inform our advice to the Government.

What happens to your submission

We intend to publish all written submissions on the Ministry of Justice’s website.

Please note also that all submissions are subject to the Official Information Act 1982, and that your submission may therefore be the subject of a request.

If you do not want your submission to be made public, please state this clearly, together with your reasons. Please also advise whether your objection relates to your whole submission or to a part, or parts of it. Any personal information you supply when making your submission will be used by us only in relation to the matters covered in this consultation. Please clearly indicate in your submission if you do not want your name to be included in any summary of submissions that we publish.


Here’s a link to the Ministry’s privacy policy:


  • General public


  • Official Information Act 1982