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Definition of "intended recipient"

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Ministry of Justice,

I am a NZ citizen. I am writing to make an OIA request for all documents held by the MoJ (e.g., Prosecution Office or Crown Law) which inform the NZ Police as to the meaning of "intended recipient" in the context of private, personal communications.

To help clarify, sections 216A-B of the Crimes Act 1961 describe the unlawful interception of private communications as having been intercepted by a third party without the consent of the sender or the intended recipient. Both the sender and intended recipient may forward or share private, personal communications (e.g. email) to a third party, which may be a breach of privacy, a breach of corporates regulations, or a breach of confidence (not very nice), but not the same an offence under section 216B of the Crimes Act 1961.

It is my understanding that NZ uses a common understanding approach to interpretation of statutes. A common understanding would be that the "intended recipient" would be the individual to whom the communication was addressed. For instance, if there is a unique identifier, such as a specified email address < Sam.James [at] moj.govt. nz>, a badge number if it were a constable, or a salutation which identifies a particular individual (e.g., Dear Mr Sam James), the "intended recipient" would be identified by their name, unique email address, or other unique identifier badge. However, in this case, where I have sent a communication to a general inbox, the "intended recipient" would be the person with the expertise and authority to provide me with the information. This interpretation appears to be consistent with every court case I found in NZILL.

Again, I request the documents which inform the NZ Police as to the definition of "intended recipient" in the context of personal, private communications. I hope the explanation above provides the context for the types of documents I am requesting.

To clarify: I am not seeking any legal help or legal interpretation. I am only seeking documents the NZ Police use to inform their understanding.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Kindest regards,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: OIA@justice.govt.nz
Ministry of Justice

Thank you for contacting the Official Information Act request mailbox for
the Ministry of Justice. We will endeavour to respond to your email within
48 hours. 

You can find more information about how we can help you at our [1]Official
Information Act Requests page.

Please send any non-OIA related emails through to
o[2][email address] and any complaints through to
[3][email address]

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From: correspondence, official
Ministry of Justice

Good morning,

Acknowledging receipt of your Official Information Act request of 24 January 2021, for information about the definition of "intended recipient".

Your request has been passed onto the relevant business unit and you will receive a response on or before 22 February 2021.

Thank you

Ngā mihi,

Official Correspondence - OIA
Strategy, Governance and Finance
Level 6 Justice Centre | Aitken Street
DX Box SX 10088 | Wellington

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From: Manktelow, Barnaby
Ministry of Justice


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Kia ora Ms Van Wey Lovatt

 

Please see attached the response to your OIA request of 24 January 2021.

 

Ngā mihi,

Barnaby

Barnaby Manktelow

Media Assistant | Communications Services
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture

P +64 4 978 7033 | Ext 45033

[1][email address] | [2]justice.govt.nz

 

 

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Manktelow, Barnaby,

Thank you for your response. I would like to modify my request. I request documents which inform the MoJ of the meaning of "intended recipient" in the context of personal, private communications (such as emails, letters and phone calls). If there is any ambiguity in my request, or the context of my request, I ask you to please refer back to my initial request for information for the context.

To be clear. I am not seeking legal advice. I am only seeking documents which inform the MoJ as to the meaning of "intended recipient".

I ask for the documents to be sent through FYI.org.nz and that they be in searchable, electronic form.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Manktelow, Barnaby
Ministry of Justice

Kia ora Ms Van Wey Lovatt,

I have logged this request for you, you can expect a response by Thursday 4 March 2021.

Ngā mihi,
Barnaby

Barnaby Manktelow
Media Assistant | Communications Services
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture
P +64 4 978 7033 | Ext 45033
[email address] | justice.govt.nz

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From: Media
Ministry of Justice


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Kia ora Ms Van Wey Lovatt,

 

Please find attached the response to your OIA request of 4 February 2021.

 

 

Ngā mihi,

Crispin Anderlini
Senior Media Adviser | Communications Services
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture
P 04 918 8980 | Ext 58980
[1][email address] | [2]justice.govt.nz

 

 

 

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Media,

I am quite confused by your response. Are you saying that the Ministry of Justice does not have any documents, including reference to case law or references to legal statutes, which informs the MoJ of the meaning of "intended recipient". Does the MoJ not have any internal policies or protocols on use of email or for other communications?

If a person searches FYI.org.nz for the words "intended recipient", disclaimers from government agencies pop up.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet disclaimer: "The information contained in this email message is for the attention of the intended recipient only and is not necessarily the official view or communication of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. If you are not the in..."

Ministry for Women disclaimer: "The information contained in this email message is intended only for the addressee and is not necessarily the official view or communication of Manatû Wâhine, Ministry for Women. If you are not the intended recipient..."

NZ Police disclaimer: "WARNING The information contained in this email message is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, whi..."

Ministry of Maori Development: "..is email together with any accompanying attachments may be confidential and subject to legal privilege. It may be read, copied and used only by the intended recipient(s). If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by return email, telephone or facsimile and delete t..."

Department of Corrections disclaimer: "The information in this message is the property of the New Zealand Department of Corrections. It is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain privileged or in confidence material. Any review, storage, copying, editing,..."

ACC disclaimer; "... in error, please advise us immediately by return email or telephone and then delete this email together with all attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, you are not authorised to use or copy this message or any attachments or disclose the contents to any other person." References Visib..."

Hutt City Council disclaimer: "The information contained in this e-mail message may be legally privileged or confidential. The information is intended only for the recipient named in the e-mail message. If the reader of this e-mail message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any u..."

Auckland City Council disclaimer: "CAUTION: This email message and any attachments contain information that may be confidential and may be LEGALLY PRIVILEGED. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, disclosure or copying of this message or attachments is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email message in error p..."

If all of these agencies include disclaimers about emails being confidential, privileged, and the inappropriate use of these emails are "strictly prohibited", then the Ministry of Justice must have some documents to inform the meaning of the words "intended recipient" in the context of email communications, or there could be no enforcement. Thus, I again, ask for the documents that inform this meaning, which would be used to enforce the strict prohibition of the use of these documents by someone who is not the intended recipient.

Kind regards,
Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Media
Ministry of Justice

Tena koe,

 

Thank you for contacting the Justice Media Team.

 

The [1][email address] inbox is monitored 8am-5pm weekdays. To
contact the Media Team outside of these hours, please email
[2][email address] or call 021 636 416.

 

Thank you

Justice Media Team

 

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From: Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

Dear Ministry of Justice,

To clarify, the OIA states:
document means a document in any form; and includes—
(a) any writing on any material:
(b) any information recorded or stored by means of any tape-recorder, computer, or other device; and any material subsequently derived from information so recorded or stored:
(c) any label, marking, or other writing that identifies or describes any thing of which it forms part, or to which it is attached by any means:
(d) any book, map, plan, graph, or drawing:
(e) any photograph, film, negative, tape, or other device in which 1 or more visual images are embodied so as to be capable (with or without the aid of some other equipment) of being reproduced

Thus, if the meaning of "intended recipient" comes from case law, such as CK (Entrepreneur Residence Visa) [2018] NZIPT 204692 (28 September 2018), where at [38] the Judge describes the "intended recipient" as the person the communication was addressed to at Immigration NZ (rather than the agency), reference to this case would fulfill my OIA request.

If the meaning of "intended recipient" comes from the Oxford Learner's Dictionary (a book), reference to the dictionary would fulfill my OIA request. The Oxford Learner's Dictionary states:
recipient (noun) a person who receives something
intended (adjective) (1) that you are trying to achieve or reach
Putting these words together, the meaning of "intended recipient of a communication" would be "the person you are trying to reach and have receive the communication".

Given this email and my original OIA request satisfies the definition of documents held by the MoJ, then stating that my understanding is consistent with the understanding held by the MoJ, as outlined in my initial request or in this clarifying response, would likewise satisfy my OIA request.

Respectfully,

Amy S Van Wey Lovatt

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From: Media
Ministry of Justice

Kia ora Ms Van Wey Lovatt,

I have passed on your query to the relevant business unit and they are looking into this.

Kind regards,

Crispin Anderlini
Senior Media Adviser | Communications Services
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te Ture
P 04 918 8980 | Ext 58980
[email address] | justice.govt.nz

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