Requests for official information can be made by any person. Requests can be made either in writing or verbally however, it is helpful to be clear and concise about the information you are requiring.
Your information request can be made by letter, fax or email. Alternatively you can verbally make a request for information from any Council staff member.
Any request for information made to Council is a request made under either the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 or the Privacy Act 1993 although you do not need to reference an Act when making a request.
The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 covers information requests made about or around another person, issue or event.
The Privacy Act 1993 covers requests for personal information about yourself.
By law, under these Acts, Council has a maximum of 20 workings days to reply to your request. This time limit can be extended in certain circumstances. If an extension is required we will advise you of this within 20 working days and provide you with a reason why the extension is necessary.
Note: During the Christmas / New Year holiday period work will continue on processing information requests, although delivery timeframes may be impacted. This is because the days from 25 December to 15 January are not counted as working days in the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
You can ask for your request to be treated as urgent but you must state the reason for urgency. Council will endeavour to respond to your request within your timeframe where possible.
Once a request is made the Council must supply the information unless grounds exist for withholding it. Legislation requires Council to provide you with reasons if the information is to be withheld and advise you of your right to complain to either the Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner depending on the legislation your request falls under.
Council cannot charge for information provided under the Privacy Act however there are certain instances where charges may apply to information provided under Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. These charges are required to be reasonable and are applied to cover the costs of research and copying. Charges for official information requests are made on a case by case basis. You will be notified if a charge is to apply and provided with an estimate of the cost for your agreement before we proceed to compile the information you have requested.
For further details regarding information requests please contact the Corporate Support Officer on 0800-486-486.