Official Information Act

​​​​People in New Zealand can request government information (official information) and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.

The Official Information Act 1982 (or OIA) enables citizens, permanent residents, visitors to New Zealand, and body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand, to make a request for official information held by government agencies, including Canterbury DHB.

How to make a request

Your request should be as clear and specific as possible and should contain the following details:

  • your name

  • contact address (email or postal)

  • contact phone number​

  • details of the information you want​

Note: We may ask you for more details if required.

Sending your request 

By email: Use the contact form and select Official Information Act Request as the 'Type of enquiry' when sending your enquiry.

By p​ost:​ Official Information Act Request 
​​c/o David Meates
Canterbury District Health Board
PO Box 1600
Christchurch 8140

How long will it take? 

We will acknowledge your request and are required by law to give you our decision on your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.

If we need more time to make our decision on your request, for example if you are requesting a lot of information, we will let you know and provide an estimate of how long it will take. Where possible we will update you on the progress of our response to your request.

​​If you would like to know more about the OIA request process, the State Services Commision have published a very useful guide about how agencies respond to an OIA request. ​

What does it cost? 

Requesting official information is free, though we can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested. Find out more in our guidance on how we will respond.

You will be informed of any charges before your OIA request proceeds, and asked if you would like to continue with your OIA request.

What if you are not happy with our response?

You may wish to contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve any  issues. You can also make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:

  • have concerns regarding the decision we made on your request

  • were unhappy about the way your request was treated or processed

  • have concerns relating to the withholding of information, extending the timeframe to respond to you, any charges for providing the information you have requested, delays in providing you with a decision or the information, or your request being transferred.

The Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.

Witholding an information request 

Information will be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it. The Official Information Act sets out a number of reasons for which information may be withheld. These reasons include preservation of personal privacy and protection of information which has been received in confidence. 

However, even where there is good reason for withholding it, information will still be released if there are overriding considerations which mean it is in the public interest to release it.​

​More information about the Official Information Act

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Related Documents

Before requesting official information, please check to see if the information you require is already available, see:

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Page last reviewed: 06 July 2018