Official Information Act 1982

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2 Interpretation
  • (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    Authority

    [Repealed]

    Authority: this definition was repealed, as from 30 June 1988, by section 53(a)(i) of this Act.

    Department means a Government Department named in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Ombudsmen Act 1975 (other than the Parliamentary Counsel Office)

    Department: this definition was amended, as from 1 October 1985, by section 71(1) Parliamentary Service Act 1985 (1985 No 128) by omitting the words the Legislative Department and.

    Document means a document in any form; and includes—

    • (a) Any writing on any material:

    • (b) Any information recorded or stored by means of any tape-recorder, computer, or other device; and any material subsequently derived from information so recorded or stored:

    • (c) Any label, marking, or other writing that identifies or describes any thing of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means:

    • (d) Any book, map, plan, graph, or drawing:

    • (e) Any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other device in which one or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced:

    Enactment means any provision of—

    • (a) Any Act of Parliament; or

    International organisation means any organisation of States or Governments of States or any organ or agency of any such organisation; and includes the Commonwealth Secretariat

    Local authority means a local authority or public body named or specified in Schedule 1 to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987

    Local authority: this definition was inserted, as from 1 March 1988, by section 57(1) Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (1987 No 174). See section 1(2) of that Act.

    Member means, in relation to an organisation, any person (not being an officer or employee of the organisation) who, whether by election or appointment or otherwise, holds office as a member of the organisation; and includes—

    • (a) Where the organisation is a company or corporation, a director; and

    • (b) Where the organisation is a trust, a trustee; and

    • (c) Any temporary, acting, or alternative member of the organisation:

    Member: this definition was inserted, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(1) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    Official information

    • (a) Means any information held by—

      • (i) A Department; or

      • (ii) A Minister of the Crown in his official capacity; or

      • (iii) An organisation; and

    • (b) Includes any information held outside New Zealand by any branch or post of—

      • (i) A Department; or

      • (ii) An organisation; and

    • (c) In relation to information held by the Department for Courts, includes information held by the Rules Committee appointed under section 51B of the Judicature Act 1908; and

    • (d) In relation to information held by a University (including Lincoln College), includes only information held by—

      • (i) The Council of the University; or

      • (ii) The Senate, Academic Board, or Professorial Board of the University; or

      • (iii) Any member of the academic staff of the University; or

      • (iv) Any other officer or employee of the University; or

      • (v) Any examiner, assessor, or moderator in any subject or examination taught or conducted by the University; but

    • (e) Does not include information contained in—

      • (i) Library or museum material made or acquired and preserved solely for reference or exhibition purposes; or

      • (ii) Material placed in the National Library of New Zealand by or on behalf of persons other than Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity or Departments; or

    • (f) Does not include any information which is held by a Department, Minister of the Crown, or organisation solely as an agent or for the sole purpose of safe custody and which is so held on behalf of a person other than a Department or a Minister of the Crown in his official capacity or an organisation; and

    • (g) does not include any information held by Public Trust or the Maori Trustee—

      • (i) in their capacity as trustee within the meaning of the Trustee Act 1956; or

      • (ii) in any other fiduciary capacity; and

    • (h) Does not include evidence given or submissions made to—

      • (i) A Royal Commission; or

      • (iii) A commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or Court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed, pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act, to inquire into a specified matter; and

    • (i) Does not include information contained in any correspondence or communication which has taken place between the office of the Ombudsmen and any Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation and which relates to an investigation conducted by an Ombudsman under this Act or under the Ombudsmen Act 1975, other than information that came into existence before the commencement of that investigation; and

    • (j) Does not include information contained in any correspondence or communication that has taken place between the office of the Privacy Commissioner and any Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation and that relates to any investigation conducted by the Privacy Commissioner under the Privacy Act 1993, other than information that came into existence before the commencement of that investigation

    • (k) does not include information contained in a victim impact statement (as defined in section 22 of the Victims' Rights Act 2002).

    Official information: paragraph (c) of this definition was substituted, as from 1 October 1995, by section 10(3) Department of Justice (Restructuring) Act 1995 (1995 No 39).

    Official information: paragraph (d) was repealed, as from 1 October 1985, by section 71(2) Parliamentary Service Act 1985 (1985 No 128).

    Official information: paragraph (d) was inserted, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(2) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    Official information: paragraph (e)(ii) of this definition was amended, as from 6 May 2003, by section 47 National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 (2003 No 19) by substituting the expression ; or for the expression ; and.

    Official information: paragraph (e)(iii) was inserted, as from 6 May 2003, by section 47 National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 (2003 No 19).

    Official information: paragraph (g) of this definition was substituted, as from 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100). See clause 2 Public Trust Act Commencement Order 2002 (SR 2002/11).

    Official information: paragraph (h) was amended, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(3) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8) by inserting the expression ; and.

    Official information: paragraph (i) was inserted, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(4) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    Official information: paragraph (i) was amended, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(1) Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36) by inserting the expression ; and.

    Official information: paragraph (j) was inserted, as from 1 July 1993, by section 2(2) Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

    Official information: paragraph (k) was inserted, as from 19 December 2002, by section 53 Victims' Rights Act 2002 (2002 No 39).

    Official information: paragraph (l) was inserted, as from 1 August 2005, by section 35(1) Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004 (2004 No 38). See clause 2 Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act Commencement Order 2005 (SR 2005/167).

    Ombudsmen means the Ombudsmen holding office under the Ombudsmen Act 1975

    Organisation means—

    • (a) An organisation named in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Ombudsmen Act 1975 (other than the Parliamentary Service or mortality review committees):

    • (b) An organisation named in Schedule 1 to this Act:

    Organisation: this definition was amended, as from 1 October 1985, by section 71(3) Parliamentary Service Act 1985 (1985 No 128) by inserting the words (other than the Parliamentary Service Commission).

    Organisation: this definition was further amended, as from 1 July 2000, by section 38 Parliamentary Service Act 2000 (2000 No 17) by substituting the words (other than the Parliamentary Service) for the words (other than the Parliamentary Service Commission).

    Organisation: this definition was further amended, as from 1 January 2001, by section 111(1) New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (2000 No 91) by inserting, after the words Parliamentary Service, the words or mortality review committees.

    Permanent resident of New Zealand means a person who—

    • (a) Resides in New Zealand; and

    • (b) Is not—

      • (ii) A person obliged, by or pursuant to that Act, to leave New Zealand immediately or within a specified time; or

      • (iii) Deemed for the purposes of that Act to be in New Zealand unlawfully:

    Permanent resident of New Zealand: Paragraph (b) was substituted, as from 1 November 1987, by section 151(1) Immigration Act 1987 (1987 No 74). See section 1(2) of that Act and Immigration Act Commencement Order 1987 (SR 1987/300).

    Person includes a corporation sole, and also a body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate

    Personal information means any official information held about an identifiable person

    Prohibited immigrant

    [Repealed]

    Prohibited immigrant: this definition was omitted, as from 1 November 1987, by sections 1(2) and 151(1) Immigration Act 1987 (1987 No 74).

    State enterprise means—

    • (b) An organisation that was a State enterprise within the meaning of section 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 but which continues to be named in Schedule 1 to this Act:

    State enterprise: this definition was inserted, as from 10 April 1992, by section 2(1) Official Information Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 24).

    Statutory officer means a person—

    • (a) Holding or performing the duties of an office established by an enactment; or

    • (b) Performing duties expressly conferred on him by virtue of his office by an enactment:

    Subsidiary

    [Repealed]

    Subsidiary: this definition was repealed, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(5) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    Working day means any day of the week other than—

    • (a) Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Labour Day, the Sovereign's birthday, and Waitangi Day; and

    • (b) A day in the period commencing with the 25th day of December in any year and ending with the 15th day of January in the following year.

    Working day: this definition was inserted, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(5) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    (1A) For the purposes of Schedule 1 to this Act, a company is a related company of a State enterprise if the State enterprise, whether alone or together with any other State enterprise, directly or indirectly owns, or controls the exercise of all the voting rights attaching to,—

    • (a) In the case of a company registered under the Companies Act 1955, the equity share capital (as defined in section 158 of that Act) of the company; or

    • (b) In the case of a company registered under the Companies Act 1993, the issued shares of the company, (other than shares that carry no right to participate beyond a specified amount in a distribution of either profits or capital),—

    as the case may be.

    (2) Where information is held by an unincorporated body (being a board, council, committee, subcommittee, or other body, but not being a mortality review committee)—

    • (a) Which is established for the purpose of assisting or advising, or performing functions connected with, any Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation; and

    • (b) Which is so established in accordance with the provisions of any enactment or by any Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation,—

    that information shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed—

    • (c) In any case where that body is established in respect of any Department or organisation, to be information held by that Department or organisation; and

    • (d) In any case where that body is established in respect of a Minister of the Crown, to be information held by that Minister.

    (3) Where subsection (2) of this section applies in respect of any unincorporated body and that body is established for the purpose of assisting, advising, or performing functions connected with any Department or organisation, that unincorporated body shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be part of that Department or organisation.

    (4) Subject to subsection (4A) of this section, information held by an officer or employee or member of a Department or organisation in that person's capacity as such an officer or employee or member or in that person's capacity as a statutory officer shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be held by the Department or organisation of which that person is an officer or employee or member.

    (4A) Nothing in subsection (4) of this section applies in respect of any information that any officer or employee or member of a Department or organisation would not hold but for that person's membership of, or connection with, a body other than a Department or organisation, except where that membership or connection is in that person's capacity as an officer or employee or member of that Department or organisation or as a statutory officer.

    (5) Any information held by an independent contractor engaged by any Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation in his capacity as such contractor shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be held by the Department or Minister of the Crown or organisation.

    (6) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that the terms Department and organisation do not include—

    • (a) A Court; or

    • (b) In relation to its judicial functions, a Tribunal; or

    • (c) A Royal Commission; or

    • (e) A commission of inquiry or board of inquiry or Court of inquiry or committee of inquiry appointed, pursuant to, and not by, any provision of an Act, to inquire into a specified matter.

    • (g) the Judicial Complaints Lay Observer.

    Subsection (1A) was inserted, as from 10 April 1992, by section 2(2) Official Information Amendment Act 1992 (1992 No 24)

    Subsection (1A) was substituted, as from 1 July 1994, by section 2 Company Law Reform (Transitional Provisions) Act 1994 (1994 No 16).

    Subsection (2) was amended, as from 1 January 2001, by section 111(1) New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (2000 No 91) by inserting, after the words (being a board, council, committee, subcommittee, or other body, the words , but not being a mortality review committee.

    Subsection (3) was amended, as from 12 December 1983, by section 2 Official Information Amendment Act 1983 (1983 No 83) by substituting the word connected for the word conducted.

    Subsection (4) was amended, as from 1 April 1987, by section 2(6) Official Information Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 8).

    Subsection (4) was substituted, as from 1 July 1993, by section 2(3) Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

    Subsection (4A) was inserted, as from 1 July 1993, by section 2(3) Official Information Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 36).

    Subsection (6)(ba) was inserted, as from 25 January 2005, by section 200 Crown Entities Act 2004 (2004 No 115).

    Subsection (6)(f) and (g) were inserted, as from 1 August 2005, by section 35(2) Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act 2004 (2004 No 38). See clause 2 Judicial Conduct Commissioner and Judicial Conduct Panel Act Commencement Order 2005 (SR 2005/167).