Police Manual chapter - Privacy and official information - Disclosure under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA)

Mark Hanna made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

Currently waiting for a response from New Zealand Police, they must respond promptly and normally no later than (details and exceptions).

From: Mark Hanna

Tēnā koutou,

On April 20 2020, NZ Police released its “Privacy and official information - Disclosure under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA)” Police Manual chapter as of 30 January 2020 (ref IR-01-19-25383) [1].

In this document, a section titled “Minister’s Office consultation” states that some requests may need to be “sent to the Minister’s Office for consultation before it is sent to the requester” and that the person handling the request should “Allow five working days for the consultation”.

Today, an article published on stuff.co.nz [2] regarding a a case note published by Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier in May 2022 [3] following a complaint made to his office under the OIA regarding this part of Police’s disclosure under the OIA policy said that:

“[NZ Police] allows 72 hours to alert its minister to any upcoming release of documents under the Official Information Act.”

“[Chief Ombudsman Peter] Boshier said police did not demonstrate that a 72-hour notification period was necessary, and three to five days “is likely to be unreasonable,” he added.”

“Police told the Ombudsman it has amended its practice.”

The case note also mentioned that:

“The reason for the delay was that Police had the practice of providing the Police Minister with a three-working day advance notice of decisions on certain requests.”

This has led me to believe that this policy has been updated at least twice since January 2020. First, to reduce the timeframe for consultation with the minister from five working days to three working days, and a second time following this complaint. I would like to request information about how this policy has changed since it was last released under the OIA.

Please release the following information regarding the “Privacy and official information - Disclosure under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA)” chapter of the Police Manual:

1. For the version that was active on 30 January 2020:
1a. The date on which that version came into effect.
1b. The date on which that version ended.

2. For each version that came into effect after 30 January 2020:
2a. A copy of that version.
2b. The date on which the version came into effect.

3. The next planned review date for this document.

4. The licence under which this information is released.

If possible, I would prefer that the information be released under the Creative Commons Attribute 4.0 licence (CC BY 4.0) [4], which is recommended under the NZGOAL framework [5]. Cabinet has invited NZ Police to take NZGOAL into account when releasing copyright material and non-copyright material to the public for re-use [6].

Please provide this information in an accessible, searchable format without a watermark.

If any information needs to be withheld from the document, please ensure this is not done in a way that makes the surrounding content (such as other content on the same page) inaccessible.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

[1] https://fyi.org.nz/request/11064-oia-aut...
[2] https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/1291822...
[3] https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/site...
[4] https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/...
[5] https://www.data.govt.nz/toolkit/policie...
[6] https://www.data.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/...

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From: Ministerial Services
New Zealand Police

Tēnā koe Mark

I acknowledge receipt of your Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) request, received by Police on 29 July 2022.

Your reference number is IR-01-22-22497.

You can expect a response to your request on or before 26 August 2022 unless an extension is needed.

Ngā mihi

Ministerial Services
Police National Headquarters

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From: Ministerial Services
New Zealand Police

Good morning Mark


I would like to clarify some aspects of your OIA request that relates to
Privacy and official information - Disclosure under the Official
Information Act 1982 (OIA) chapter of the Police Manual.


It would be easiest to have a conversation over the phone if possible.
Could you let me know a phone number I can contact you on please?


Ngā mihi,



Penni Davenport | Senior Advisor

Ministerial Services | Policy & Partnerships | PNHQ







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, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
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error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: Mark Hanna

Kia ora Penni,

I’d prefer to communicate via email if that’s alright. Which parts of my request did you need to clarify?

I understand part 4 of my request, asking about the licence the information is released under, is perhaps not common. In case this is the part you wanted to clarify, here is a bit more explanation behind my intent for this part of my request.

When information released under the OIA is not released under an explicit licence, it is typically protected by default under the Copyright Act 1994. These rules technically prohibit certain actions, such as communicating the protected work to the public (s16(1)(f)). However, when it comes to information released under the OIA without specific licence restrictions I understand there is also essentially a convention that the exclusivity of these rights will not be enforced.

I intend to make any information released in response to this request available for others, such as academics and journalists, to reuse. For most intents and purposes, this unspoken agreement that copyright restrictions will not be enforced may be good enough, however I would prefer to be able to share any information released to me under a particular licence so everyone can understand exactly under what conditions it may be used. I think the CC BY 4.0 licence recommended by NZGOAL is a good fit for this as it requires attribution to NZ Police, a link to the licence, and a clear indication if any changes have been made (e.g. if annotations have been added, or the information has been converted into a different format).

I hope that’s useful clarification, but let me know if there are other parts of my request that you need clarified, or if this was unclear.

Ngā mihi,
Mark Hanna

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