01 November 2021
[FYI request #17010 email]
Tēnā koe Wendy
Thank you for your Of icial Information Act (The OIA) request to the Department of
Conservation (the Department), received on 02 October 2021 in which you asked for:
• Please provide copies of reports by DOC to NZ Parliament, to commissions of
enquiry, and to the UN for the years 2017 - 2021, where there is reference in
relation to predator control and use of poisons and VTAs, (a) to social licence
and (b) to legislation.
• Please include any other reports that address the issue of social licence for
Regarding the first part of your request, I can confirm that the Department has not provided
any reports to Parliament or to any Commissions of Inquiry for the years 2017 to 2021,
referencing Predator Control and the use of poisons and Vertebrate Toxic Agents (VTA’s) in
relation to social licence or legislation. This part of your request is therefore declined under
section 18(e) of the OIA, as the information requested does not exist.
You also requested copies of reports to the United Nations. I have identified one document
within scope of this part of your request. This part of your request is declined under section
18(d) of the OIA, the information requested is publicly available. For your convenience I have
included the following link to the report in question.
The second part of your request is framed very broadly and necessitated several extensive
database searches to be undertaken. The initial search returned more than 9,000 individual
records for consideration as possibly within the scope of your request. This was a key word
search with no time parameters using the term social licence. On review of the records this
turned out to be a phrase used by the Department to refer to a range of things such as trust
and confidence, community understanding and acceptance. The topics referenced in these
records included, but are not limited to, concession licencing, hunting, fishing, firearm use,
questionnaires, conditions for sporting events, fact sheets and publicly available research.
Further modified searches were undertaken including additional parameters, for example the
date period as stated in your first question, the years 2017 to 2021. This narrowed the
information returned to 3,000 plus records. A sample of these were then reviewed. The
findings made it quite evident that a large percentage of the sample records were not valid
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for your request and just contained a passing reference to the phrase social licence in
context unrelated to predator control operations.
To identify all material in scope of your request would require considerable resources and
time to review each individual record to see if it is within scope of your request. We cannot
undertake this work without it adversely impacting our day-to-day functions. On that basis
this part of your request has been declined under section 18(f) of the OIA, that the
information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research. I
have borne in mind sections 18A and 18B of the OIA but concluded that use of either
provision would not assist in this case.
You are entitled to seek an investigation and review of my decision by writing to an
Ombudsman as provided by section 28(3) of the Of icial Information Act.
Please note that this letter (with your personal details removed) and enclosed documents
may be published on the Department’s website.
Nāku noa, nā
Director Operations Issues and Programmes
Department of Conservation
Te Papa Atawhai
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