3 February 2021
By e-mail: [email address]
Official information request for all submissions received in relation to the September 2020
ApiNZ has transferred your request to the Management Agency to respond to.
We refer to your official information request dated 15 October 2020 for submissions received
in relation to the September 2020 budget consultation process.
Your request has been refused on the following grounds:
1. Section 18(f) – Request would require substantial collation;
2. Section 18(h) – Information requested is trivial.
We note that 18(f) is the first step that needs to be undertaken before other grounds including
for example, Sections 9(2)(a) and 9(2)(ba) could apply. We have outlined these as background
information over the page.
Grounds for Refusal – Section 18(f)
Due to the substantial amount of work that would be required to research and collate the
information you have requested, we are also refusing your request under section 18(f) of the
The Agency received 95 Survey responses on the Survey Monkey Platform.
In order to meet your request, our staff would need to identify and review all relevant
submissions, determine whether those submissions include any sensitive or confidential
information, collate the submissions and provide them to you in an accessible format instead
of providing AFB elimination services to beekeepers.
It not possible for us to review and collate all of the information you have requested and
continue to meet the Agency obligations under the National American Foulbrood Pest
Likewise, it would be cost prohibitive and a poor use of levy payers’ funds to have an external
contractor undertake this exercise.
We have considered whether charging or extending the timeframe for responding to your
request would have helped, as required by section 18A of the OIA. However, given the volume
of information requested, we believe that charging or extending the timeframe would not
have allowed us to meet your request.
The Agency has less than 6 full-time staff members, all of whom have high workloads as we
work to improve the elimination of American foulbrood from New Zealand. These workloads
are unlikely to decrease over the coming year, as the Agency moves from the consultation to
implementation phase. In essence, we do not have the capacity to review and collate all of
the information you have requested within a reasonable timeframe.
We have considered consulting with you in relation to your request, as required by section
18B of the OIA. However, since you have requested copies all submissions received by the
Agency, we believe that further consultation with you would not have been constructive.
While we cannot meet your exact request, we can refer you to the Agency’s website, which
includes free access to the 18-page Final Report prepared by Logic Partners.
We provide a link to the Final Report below for your ease of reference:
Section 18 (h)
As the information you have requested is trivial, we have also decided to refuse your request
under section 18(h) of the OIA.
The Ombudsman’s Guide on Administrative Reasons for Refusal of OIA Requests states that
a trivial request will often arise where it is widely framed and is made for all information
relating to a particular subject matter.
In this case, you have asked us to provide you with submissions received in connection with
the proposed increase to the AFB Apiary and Beekeeper Levy. This information is trivial
because it refers to each respondents’ personal views about the proposed levy increase.
Other grounds to that may be subsequently considered include:
specifically where withholding the information is necessary to protect the
privacy of the survey respondents, and there is no countervailing public interest in making
that information available.
Section 9(2)(ba) specifically where
withholding this information is necessary to maintain our
confidentiality obligations, and that making the information available is likely to prejudice the
supply of similar information from respondents in the future.
You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision.
Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
or freephone 0800 802 602.
National Compliance Manager