Making an Official Information Act request

What is Official Information?

Official information is any information held by the government, including Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity, and Government departments and Ministries, including the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) allows citizens, permanent residents, and anyone who is in New Zealand to request official information. This is to promote openness and transparency, enable greater public participation in government, and hold governments and government agencies to account - our agency is committed to supporting those principles.

Before making an OIA request

We encourage you to check out the sources of information below where the Ministry for Pacific People proactively releases a range of resources about our work, including responses to OIA requests that are considered of interest to the public.  You may find the information you need is already publicly available on our website.

How to make an OIA request

To assist the Ministry, and ensure you receive the correct information, your request should be as clear and specific as possible. To be a valid request, your information request must be specified with ‘due particularity’ meaning, the Ministry must be able to identify the information you seek. The Ministry will contact you for clarification, if necessary.

Details for requesting information from the Ministry are:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 04 473 4493
  • Mail:  PO BOX 833, Wellington 6140,
    Ministry for Pacific Peoples, Level 1/101 -103 The Terrace, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011

If your request is received by phone or in person, the Ministry will either confirm it in writing or, if we are unsure about what information you need, we may ask you to put your request in writing. 

How long will it take?

The Ministry will acknowledge your request once it is received. A decision will be communicated to you as soon as reasonably possible, and by law, no later than 20 working days after we receive it.

For any large or complex requests, or those requiring consultation, the Ministry may need to extend the maximum time limit under section 14 of the Official Information Act. If an extension is required, we will let you know and give you a specific due date.

If you decide to amend your request, or if the Ministry seeks to clarify your request, the amended or clarified version will be considered a new request and the 20-working day period will start from the day after the new request is received.

What will it cost?

Requesting information is free, although the Ministry can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested. There is no charge for the first hour spent on your request or for the first 20 pages of photocopying. The charging guidelines for OIAs are set by the Ministry of Justice.

Charging guidelines for Official Information Act requests

Withholding information

The OIA states that information should be made available unless there is good reason to withhold it. Requests may be refused (in part or in full) or information may be withheld, however the Ministry will inform you of the reason and of your right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate the refusal, if you are not satisfied with the response.

Making a complaint

If you did not receive a response to your request for official information within the statutory time limit, or you are dissatisfied with the response you receive, you have the right, under section 28(3) of the Act, to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman.

How to contact the Ombudsman

More information

Official Information Act 1982 

Directory of Official Information - this directory contains contact details for all government organisations covered by the Official Information Act.

Ombudsman’s Official Information Act guides - guidance documents relating to the OIA.

Charging guidelines for Official Information Act requests