Ministry of Social Development (MSD) approach to increased welfare applications during COVID-19

William T Francis made this Official Information request to Radio New Zealand Limited

The request was refused by Radio New Zealand Limited.

From: William T Francis

Dear Radio New Zealand Limited,

This request is made under the Official Information Act 1982 and refers to the following news article by Guyon Espiner.

"Government preparing for 300,000 new benefit applications - leaked documents" (05/05/2020).

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/4159...

Please respond to this request providing full, complete, and unedited copies of the leaked correspondence provided to RNZ regarding MSD's approach to managing increased welfare demand during COVID-19 as referenced in this article.

If relevant, please also provide full legislative reasoning as to why RNZ believes denying this request is reasonable within the bounds of the Official Information Act 1982.

Yours faithfully,

William T Francis

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From: Maggie Hedge


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Good morning
Your OIA request to RNZ has been received.  We will respond as per the OIA
Act in due course.
Kind regards

Maggie Hedge| OIA Co-ordinator
RNZ | Level 2, 155 The Terrace | PO Box 123 | Wellington | New Zealand 
DDI +64 4 474 1776 

 

[1]www.rnz.co.nz 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: RNZ <[email address]>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 May 2020 6:26 PM
To: OIA <[email address]>; George Bignell <[email address]>
Cc: Maggie Hedge <[email address]>
Subject: Fw: Official Information request - Ministry of Social Development
(MSD) approach to increased welfare applications during COVID-19
 
________________________________________
From: William T Francis <[FOI #12780 email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 May 2020 6:17 PM
To: RNZ
Subject: Official Information request - Ministry of Social Development
(MSD) approach to increased welfare applications during COVID-19

Dear Radio New Zealand Limited,

This request is made under the Official Information Act 1982 and refers to
the following news article by Guyon Espiner.

"Government preparing for 300,000 new benefit applications - leaked
documents" (05/05/2020).

[2]https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/4159...

Please respond to this request providing full, complete, and unedited
copies of the leaked correspondence provided to RNZ regarding MSD's
approach to managing increased welfare demand during COVID-19 as
referenced in this article.

If relevant, please also provide full legislative reasoning as to why RNZ
believes denying this request is reasonable within the bounds of the
Official Information Act 1982.

Yours faithfully,

William T Francis

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #12780 email]

Is [RNZ request email] the wrong address for Official Information requests
to Radio New Zealand Limited? If so, please contact us using this form:
[3]https://fyi.org.nz/change_request/new?bo...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[4]https://fyi.org.nz/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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From: George Bignell


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Dear Mr Francis

 

In response to your OIA request, i.e.:

 

“Please respond to this request providing full, complete, and unedited
copies of the leaked correspondence provided to RNZ regarding MSD's
approach to managing increased welfare demand during COVID-19 as
referenced in this article.”

 

RNZ declines to make any documentation available to you.  As the online
story you refer to , i.e.  

[1]https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/4159...
 states,  the:

 

“Leaked documents show the Ministry of Social Development preparing for an
extra 300,000 benefit applications, in response to an expected tidal wave
of unemployment created by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

 

And further states that :

 

“RNZ has received documents and emails which show the Ministry of Social
Development (MSD) ….”

 

There is a long held convention of confidentiality between a journalist
and their source(s) of information, something which is even codified into
law, e.g. in the Evidence Act, for example s 68 of that Act states:

 

“68 Protection of journalists’ sources

(1)  If a journalist has promised an informant not to disclose the
informant’s identity, neither the journalist nor his or her employer is
compellable in a civil or criminal proceeding to answer any question or
produce any document that would disclose the identity of the informant or
enable that identity to be discovered.

(2) A Judge of the High Court may order that subsection (1) is not to
apply if satisfied by a party to a civil or criminal proceeding that,
having regard to the issues to be determined in that proceeding, the
public interest in the disclosure of evidence of the identity of the
informant outweighs—

(a) any likely adverse effect of the disclosure on the informant or any
other person; and

(b) the public interest in the communication of facts and opinion to the
public by the news media and, accordingly also, in the ability of the news
media to access sources of facts.

(3) The Judge may make the order subject to any terms and conditions that
the Judge thinks appropriate.

(4) This section does not affect the power or authority of the House of
Representatives.

(5) In this section,—

informant means a person who gives information to a journalist in the
normal course of the journalist’s work in the expectation that the
information may be published in a news medium

journalist means a person who in the normal course of that person’s work
may be given information by an informant in the expectation that the
information may be published in a news medium

news medium means a medium for the dissemination to the public or a
section of the public of news and observations on news

public interest in the disclosure of evidence includes, in a criminal
proceeding, the defendant’s right to present an effective defence.”

 

For these reasons and the provisions of s 9(2)(ba)(i) of the Official
Information Act, i.e.:

 

“9 Other reasons for withholding official information

(1) …

(2) Subject to [2]sections 6, [3]7, [4]10, and [5]18, this section applies
if, and only if, the withholding of the information is necessary to—

(a)…

(b)…

(i) …

(ii) ….

(ba) protect information which is subject to an obligation of
confidence or which any person has been or could be compelled to
provide under the authority of any enactment, where the making
available of the information—

(i) would be likely to prejudice the supply of similar information,
or information from the same source, and it is in the public
interest that such information should continue to be supplied; or”

 

RNZ will not release information that has been supplied to us on a
confidential basis.  As we are required to do, this message is to also
advise you that our response to your request can be referred to the
Ombudsman’s Office for review under s 28 (3) of the Official Information
Act if you wish.

 

Kind regards

 

George Bignell| OIA Inquiries Coordinator

RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE

PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | [6]www.rnz.co.nz

DDI +64 4 474 1424 | [mobile number]

 

[7]RNZ-logo-reo

 

 

________________________________________
From: William T Francis
<[8][FOI #12780 email]>
Sent: Tuesday, 5 May 2020 6:17 PM
To: RNZ
Subject: Official Information request - Ministry of Social Development
(MSD) approach to increased welfare applications during COVID-19

Dear Radio New Zealand Limited,

This request is made under the Official Information Act 1982 and refers to
the following news article by Guyon Espiner.

"Government preparing for 300,000 new benefit applications - leaked
documents" (05/05/2020).

[9]https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/4159...

Please respond to this request providing full, complete, and unedited
copies of the leaked correspondence provided to RNZ regarding MSD's
approach to managing increased welfare demand during COVID-19 as
referenced in this article.

If relevant, please also provide full legislative reasoning as to why RNZ
believes denying this request is reasonable within the bounds of the
Official Information Act 1982.

Yours faithfully,

William T Francis

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is an Official Information request made via the FYI website.

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[10][FOI #12780 email]

Is [11][RNZ request email] the wrong address for Official Information
requests to Radio New Zealand Limited? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[12]https://fyi.org.nz/change_request/new?bo...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[13]https://fyi.org.nz/help/officers

If you find this service useful as an Official Information officer, please
ask your web manager to link to us from your organisation's OIA or LGOIMA
page.

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