Official Information Requests
Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) any person, group or organisation may request information from the Council, which must be made available unless there are good reasons for withholding it. The purpose of the Act is to increase the availability of official information held by local authorities to promote accountability and enable more effective participation in decision-making.
A large amount of information is available on our website. If you cannot find the information you want, please contact us.
You can find more information about Official Information Requests on the Ombudsman's web page.
What is official information?
Official information means any information held by a local authority. It includes material held in any format such as:
- written documents, reports, memoranda, letters, notes, emails and draft documents;
- non-written documentary information, such as material stored on or generated by computers, including databases, video or tape recordings;
- information which is known to an agency, but which has not yet been recorded in writing or otherwise (including knowledge of a particular matter held by an officer, employee or member of an agency in their official capacity);
- documents and manuals which set out the policies, principles, rules or guidelines for decision making by an agency;
- the reasons for any decisions that have been made about a person.
How to make a request
A request should include your name, contact details and specific details of the information being requested. You do not have to say you are making a request under the LGOIMA.
Information can be requested in the following ways:
Online: Contact form
Post: LGOIMA Request
Waimate District Council
PO Box 122
In person (verbal): At Council’s reception, 125 Queen Street, Waimate
Are there charges?
There is no cost to request the information.
Most information is supplied free of charge, however, in some cases a charge may be made for supplying the information. This may apply where considerable staff time or resources is required to research and collate the information or photocopies are required. In this situation, Council will advise the information requested would incur a cost and outline the reasons, giving an opportunity for the original request to be modified. Should the request not be modified, a quote outlining the costs would be supplied and accepted before the information is released.
For more information check our Fees & Charges (Information Services).
How long will it take to process requests?
Once a request is made, Council will acknowledge receipt as soon as possible. Council must make a decision on whether to provide or withhold the information within 20 working days (although there are certain circumstances where this timeframe may be extended). Typically, notification of the decision and the information requested will be provided at the same time.
However, if a request is complex, involves a large amount of research and collation, or requires consultation with other parties, and the information cannot be provided within 20 working days, the time limit may be extended. Council will advise if this is the case.
If the information sought is held by another organisation covered by the Act, the request may be transferred to that agency. Council will advise within 10 working days of receiving the request if it is to be transferred.
Responses to all information requests will be electronic unless otherwise requested.
Can Council withhold information?
Council may withhold all of some of the information for specific reasons and will explain why. The LGOIMA says that information may be withheld if release of the information would:
- Endanger the safety of any person
- Prejudice maintenance of the law
- Compromise the privacy of any person
- Reveal confidential or commercially sensitive information
- Cause offence to tikanga Maori or would disclose the location of waahi tapu
- Prejudice public health or safety
- Compromise legal professional privilege
- Disadvantage the local authority while carrying out negotiations or commercial activities
- Allow information to be used for improper gain or advantage
Not satisfied with the response?
Any person that is not satisfied with the information provided or a decision to withhold information is entitled to request a review by the Office of the Ombudsman. Contact details for the Ombudsman can be found on www.ombudsman.parliament.nz