Official information is any information held by the government, including Ministers of the Crown in their official capacity, and Government departments and Ministries, including Manatū Wāhine Ministry for Women.
The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) enables any eligible person to request official information. The Ministry is committed to complying with the purposes, principles, and requirements of the OIA.
Anyone in New Zealand can request official information. New Zealand citizens overseas, and corporate bodies with a place of business in New Zealand, can also request information.
Before you make an official information request
To help the Ministry, and ensure that you receive the correct information, be specific in identifying the information you want. The information you are requesting must be specified with ‘due particularity’, meaning that the Ministry must be able to identify the information you have asked for. Any request that lacks due particularity will not be valid, and we may contact you to clarify your request.
The Ministry publishes useful information in our Library which may answer your question, including previous OIA requests, Advice and Reports to the Minister, and our Annual Reports.
The information you are seeking may also be already available on the Parliament website as a Written Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Women or as part of our annual reporting requirements to the Social Services and Community Select Committee.
We are committed to being transparent about proactive information releases, including official information decisions, as this increases the trust and confidence of the public. The Ministry will aim to proactively release documents within three months from final approval.
The Ministry will exercise due diligence before proactively releasing Ministry documents and OIA responses. We will assess the potential effect of publishing information, including legal considerations and personal privacy.
How to request official information
You can contact us to request information by:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 04 915 7112
- Post: PO Box 10 049, Level 9, Plan IT House, 22 The Terrace, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand.
When you contact us, include your name, contact information (email, phone number, or postal address), and the details of your request for information. We may need to contact you to clarify your request.
If your request is for a substantial amount of information, or gathering the information will require significant resources, there may be a charge for responding to your request. If we intend to impose a charge, we will let you know before we proceed with your request. Any charge will be set in line with the Ministry of Justice Charging Guidelines.
The Ministry will make and communicate a decision on your request in no later than 20 working days after it was received (unless an extension is made).
The Ministry may extend the 20 working days timeframe for transferring a request or making a decision if your request is for a large quantity of information or consultation is needed to make a decision on your request.
If you decide to amend or clarify your request, this is considered to be a new request and the 20 working days timeframe will start from the day after this new request is received.
Withheld or refused information, and disputes
Requests can be refused, or information withheld, under the OIA if a good reason exists. This may include protecting confidential information or personal details. The Ministry will inform you of the reason for the refusal and of your right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate the refusal if you are not satisfied with the response.
If you do not receive a response to your request for official information within the statutory time limit, or you are unhappy with the response you receive, you can complain to the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate and review agencies’ decision (or lack of decision) on your request.
The Ombudsman can look at:
- refusals (including deletions)
- delays and extensions of time to reply
- charges for providing the information
- the way in which information was provided, especially if you asked for it in a particular way
- conditions or restrictions on how you got the information or what you can do with it.