Official Information Act 1982

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice
  • not the latest version

Reprint as at 23 November 2010

Official Information Act 1982

Public Act1982 No 156
Date of assent17 December 1982
Commencementsee section 1(2), (3)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Act to bind the Crown

Part 1
Purposes and criteria

4 Purposes

5 Principle of availability

6 Conclusive reasons for withholding official information

7 Special reasons for withholding official information related to the Cook Islands, Tokelau, or Niue, or the Ross Dependency

8 Special reasons for withholding official information related to competitive commercial activities [Repealed]

9 Other reasons for withholding official information

10 Information concerning existence of certain information

11 Exclusion of public interest immunity

Part 2
Requests for access to official information

12 Requests

13 Assistance

14 Transfer of requests

15 Decisions on requests

15A Extension of time limits

16 Documents

17 Deletion of information from documents

18 Refusal of requests

18A Requests involving substantial collation or research

18B Duty to consider consulting person if request likely to be refused under section 18(e) or (f)

19 Reason for refusal to be given

Part 3
Publication of, and access to, certain documents and information

20 Publication setting out functions of departments and organisations

21 Right of access to certain official information

22 Right of access to internal rules affecting decisions

23 Right of access by person to reasons for decisions affecting that person

Part 4
Right of access to personal information

24 Right of access to personal information

24A Restriction where person sentenced to imprisonment

25 Precautions

26 Correction of information

27 Reasons for refusal of requests for personal information

Part 5
Review of decisions

Decisions under Part 2 and section 10

28 Functions of Ombudsmen

29 Application of Ombudsmen Act 1975

29A Requirements of Ombudsman to be complied with within certain period

29B Consultation with Privacy Commissioner

30 Procedure after investigation

31 Disclosure of certain information not to be recommended

32 Recommendations made to department or Minister of the Crown or organisation

32A Requirements in relation to Order in Council

32B Right of review

32C Appeals

33 Complainant to be informed of result of investigation

34 Restriction on application for review

Decisions under Part 3 or Part 4

35 Application of Ombudsmen Act 1975


36 Saving in respect of Ombudsmen Act 1975

Part 6
Information Authority


37 Establishment of Information Authority [Expired]

38 Functions and powers of Authority [Expired]

39 Functions in respect of personal information [Expired]

40 Membership of Authority [Expired]

41 Term of office of members of Authority [Expired]

42 Regulations providing for access to information [Expired]

43 Provision for disallowance of regulations providing for access to information [Expired]

44 Annual report [Expired]

45 Offences [Expired]

Part 7
Miscellaneous provisions

46 Assistance of Ministry of Justice

47 Regulations

48 Protection against certain actions

49 Power to amend Schedule 1 by Order in Council

50 Consequential amendments to other enactments

51 Repeal

52 Savings

53 Expiration of provisions relating to Information Authority

Schedule 1
Organisations (additional to those named in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975) to which this Act applies

Schedule 2
Provisions relating to Information Authority


Schedule 3
Enactments amended

Reprint notes

An Act to make official information more freely available, to provide for proper access by each person to official information relating to that person, to protect official information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the preservation of personal privacy, to establish procedures for the achievement of those purposes, and to repeal the Official Secrets Act 1951