[FYI request #16665 email]
Tēnā koe Mr Bailey
Thank you for your email of 8 September 2021, requesting information about
Brenton Tarrant’s mail. Your request has been considered under the Official
Information Act 1982 (OIA).
Your have requested:
I am writing to request the total number of physical written communications
(i.e. letters, cards, and postcards), both inbound and outbound, of convicted
terrorist Brenton Tarrant since his initial incarceration in 2019.
Additionally, I would like to request a breakdown of how many of these (both
inbound or outbound) were withheld entirely, how many were partially
censored, and how many were passed on without being censored in any way.
This individual is being managed in accordance with the provisions set out in the
Corrections Act 2004 and our international obligations for the treatment of prisoners.
Please note that Corrections is unable to partially censor or partially withhold mail. It
is either withheld in full or released in full to the recipient.
The release of any information regarding his mail is declined under the following
sections of the OIA:
6(c), as the release of the information would be likely to prejudice the
maintenance of the law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection
6(d), as the release of the information would be likely to endanger the safety
of any person; and
9(2)(a), to protect the privacy of natural persons.
Please note that information withheld on privacy grounds is not only to protect the
individual’s privacy, but also that of the people who write to him or to whom he
As per section 9(1) of the OIA, we have also considered whether there are
countervailing public interest considerations favouring the release of the requested
NATIONAL OFFICE, WELLINGTON
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+64 4 460 3000
information. We do not believe any such considerations outweigh the relevant the
affected people’s right to privacy in this case.
In August 2019, after one of this individual’s letters were published online,
Corrections’ then-Chief Executive Christine Stevenson released some limited
information regarding this individual’s mail, we now consider that public interest in
the secure management of the individual’s mail has been met. This is through
establishing revised and robust processes for the management of his mail (including
the final decision to withhold his mail being made by the Chief Executive), alongside
Corrections accepting the recommendations of the independent review of prisoner
mail and making wider changes to the mail system.
Please note that this response may be published on Corrections’ website. Typically,
responses are published quarterly, or as otherwise determined. Your personal
information including name and contact details will be removed for publication.
I trust the information provided is of assistance. Should you have any concerns with
this response, I would encourage you to raise them with Corrections. Alternatively,
you are advised of your right to also raise any concerns with the Office of the
Ombudsman. Contact details are: Office of the Ombudsman, PO Box 10152,
Manager Ministerial Services
People and Capability