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NZ Traveller Declaration

R S Grant made this Official Information request to Ayesha Verrall

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From: R S Grant

Dear Ayesha Verrall,

I would like to request the following information regarding the NZ Traveller Declaration.

1) How many individual NZ Traveller declarations have been received by the Government since the requirement was introduced? If easier, I would be happy with a directionally correct estimate rather than an exact number.

2) The two relevant purposes of the information being collected, as stated in the Privacy section of the NZ Traveller Declaration website itself, are: (a) The Ministry of Health may use this information for contact tracing, to provide relevant public health messaging, and on occasion to request that you complete surveys; and (b) Travel history may be used by the Ministry of Health for contact tracing.

Please provide the number of occasions that the information provided in NZ Traveller declarations has been used by the Ministry of Health for the purposes listed above.

Yours faithfully,

R S Grant

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From: A Verrall (MIN)
Ayesha Verrall

Kia ora

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, Minister
for COVID – 19 Response, Minister for Research, Science and Innovation,
Minister for Seniors, and Associate Minister of Health. Your email will be
carefully considered and noted and should a response be required it will
be sent in due course.

 

Ngâ  Mihi 

 

Office of Hon Dr Ayesha
Verrall

Minister for COVID-19
Response

Minister of Research,
Science and Innovation
Minister for Seniors

Associate Minister of
Health

 

Email:
[email address]

Private Bag 18041,
Parliament Buildings,
Wellington 6160, New
Zealand

 

 

[1]https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources...

[2]www.covid19.govt.nz

[3]www.mbie.govt.nz

[4]https://officeforseniors.govt.nz

[5]www.health.govt.nz

 

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References

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2. http://www.covid19.govt.nz/
3. http://www.mbie.govt.nz/
4. https://officeforseniors.govt.nz/
5. https://www.health.govt.nz/

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From: A Verrall (MIN)
Ayesha Verrall

Kia ora R S Grant,

Thank you for your email of 06 October in which you submitted an Official Information Act request as follows:

1) How many individual NZ Traveller declarations have been received by the Government since the requirement was introduced? If easier, I would be happy with a directionally correct estimate rather than an exact number.

2) The two relevant purposes of the information being collected, as stated in the Privacy section of the NZ Traveller Declaration website itself, are: (a) The Ministry of Health may use this information for contact tracing, to provide relevant public health messaging, and on occasion to request that you complete surveys; and (b) Travel history may be used by the Ministry of Health for contact tracing.

Please provide the number of occasions that the information provided in NZ Traveller declarations has been used by the Ministry of Health for the purposes listed above.

Minister Verrall is considering your request in accordance with the Act, and you can expect a response by 04 November 2022

Ngā mihi

Office of Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall
Minister for COVID-19 Response
Minister of Research, Science and Innovation

Minister for Seniors
Associate Minister of Health

Email: [email address]
Private Bag 18041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New Zealand

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Link to this

From: A Verrall (MIN)
Ayesha Verrall


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Kia ora R S Grant

Thank you for your request to the Minister for COVID-19 Response under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the Act) on 6 October 2022. You have
requested information about:

“1) How many individual NZ Traveller declarations have been received by
the Government since the requirement was introduced? If easier, I would be
happy with a directionally correct estimate rather than an exact number.

2) The two relevant purposes of the information being collected, as stated
in the Privacy section of the NZ Traveller Declaration website itself,
are: (a) The Ministry of Health may use this information for contact
tracing, to provide relevant public health messaging, and on occasion to
request that you complete surveys; and (b) Travel history may be used by
the Ministry of Health for contact tracing.

Please provide the number of occasions that the information provided in NZ
Traveller declarations has been used by the Ministry of Health for the
purposes listed above.”

 

The first question within your request asks for information which is
believed to be held by the New Zealand Customs Service. Therefore, we have
decided to partially transfer this part of your request to the New Zealand
Customs Service under section 14 of the Act.

 

Your second question asks for information which is believed to be more
closely connected to the functions of Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand).
This part of your request has been transferred to that agency under
section 14 of the Act.

 

You can expect a response from both agencies in due course.

 

Under section 28(3) of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [1][email address] or by calling 0800
802 602.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

Health Private Secretary | Office of Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Minister for COVID-19 Response

Minister of Research, Science and Innovation
Minister for Seniors

Associate Minister of Health

Private Bag 18041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, New Zealand

 

 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]

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From: hnzOIA


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Attachment HNZ00005268 OIA response.pdf
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Kia ora
 
Please find attached a response regarding your request for information.
 
Ministerial Services

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand
TeWhatuOra.govt.nz

 

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From: R S Grant

Dear hnzOIA,

Thank you for your response, however I can scarcely believe that you do not hold the information as you claim. Do you seriously not have any records of how often you have accessed the information collected by Customs and used it for the permitted purposes? If so, that would shockingly inept, and would represent an appallingly cavalier approach to the handling of personal information supplied by the travelling public. For this reason, I cannot believe that it is true, so I want to give you another opportunity to consider your response.

There is an alternative scenario of course, which is that the information does exist and that the answer to my question is that the information gathered through the New Zealand Traveller Declaration process was not used by the Ministry of Health for the permitted purposes on any occasion. Is that the correct answer - that you do know how often it was used, and the answer that it was used zero times?

Yours sincerely,

R S Grant

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Rimmer left an annotation ()

Interesting. Customs administered the Traveller Declaration. The Ministry of Health was notifying arriving travellers to test for COVID. Was is lawful for the Ministry of Health to use information from the Traveller Declaration and / or passenger arrival data collected by Customs for other (health) purposes such as notifying arriving travellers to test for COVID? There does not seem to be an Approved Information Sharing Agreement (AISA) between Customs and MoH or authorised information matching between Customs and MoH - see the Office of the Privacy Commissioner https://www.privacy.org.nz/privacy-act-2...

Link to this

From: hnzOIA


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Kia ora

 

If you are not satisfied with the OIA response, you have the right to seek
an investigation and review by the Ombudsman. Information about how to
make a complaint is available at [1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or 0800
802 602.

 

Please note, information regarding the usage rates of the traveller
declaration information is not recorded within the contact tracing system
and therefore we cannot provide a number for this.  However, it has been a
highly valuable resource for our contact tracing team when investigating
border cases.

 

Ngā mihi

Ministerial Services

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand
 

 

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Link to this

From: R S Grant

Dear hnzOIA,

Thank you for your response and for the information on how to submit a complaint to the ombudsman. Your responses so far have indeed been most unsatisfactory, but I will wait a little longer before pursuing a complaint.

You state that the traveller declaration "has been a highly valuable resource for our contact tracing team when investigating border cases". Please can you provide any information you hold that offers evidential support for this statement.

Secondly, please can you advise how many border cases your contact tracing team investigated during each month since the declaration was introduced.

Yours sincerely,

R S Grant

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From: hnzOIA

Tēnā koe, 

 

Thank you for contacting Te Whatu Ora, Health NZ. This is an automatic
reply to confirm that we have received your email.  Depending on the
nature of your request you may not receive a response for up to 20 working
days.  We will try to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

s information that is identified to be of general public interest, the
response may also be published on our website. If we e response to your
OIA request, all personal information, including your name and contact
details will be removed.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Te Whatu Ora, Health NZ.

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From: OIA


Attachment OIA 22 217 Response.pdf
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[Customs reference: OIA 22-217]

 

 

Tēnā koe R S Grant

 

 

Please find attached response to your request for information, which was
partially transferred to the New Zealand Customs Service on 19 October
2022.

 

 

Nāku noa, nā

 

Correspondence, Reviews and Ministerial Servicing

New Zealand Customs Service

Te Mana Ārai o Aotearoa, New Zealand Customs Service encourages up to date
vaccination. To meet our workplace safety requirements you should not
attend a Customs site if you are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms
or have positive household close contacts.

The information contained in this email is intended for the addressees and
is not necessarily the official view or communication of the New Zealand
Customs Service.

This email may contain information that is confidential or legally
privileged. If you received this in error, please:

 a. Reply promptly to that effect, remove this email and any replies from
your system.
 b. Do not act on this email in any other way.

Link to this

From: hnzOIA


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Attachment HNZ00006605 OIA Response.pdf
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Kia ora R S Grant,
 
Thank you for your request for information regarding New Zealand Traveller
Declarations. Please find attached our response to your request.
 
If you have any questions please get in touch at [1][email address].
 
If you are not happy with this response, you have the right to make a
complaint to the Ombudsman. Information about how to do this is available
at [2]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz  or by phoning 0800 802 602.
 
Ngâ mihi
 
Ministerial Services

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand
TeWhatuOra.govt.nz
 

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

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From: R S Grant

Dear hnzOIA,

Your response is once again entirely unsatisfactory. In fact, your continuing to dance around my questions without actually answering them gives me cause to believe that you are trying to hide something.

Allow me to clarify exactly what I am looking for. I am looking for any information at all that you can provide that can demonstrate, with evidential support, that the NZ Traveller Declaration was actually used for something in practice. Not in theory - in practice.

Your response to the first part of my question didn’t even attempt to answer it. I asked for evidential support for your earlier statement that the NZ Traveller Declaration HAS BEEN A HIGHLY VALUABLE RESOURCE etc. You did not provide anything of the sort. You merely provided an explanation of what the NZ Traveller Declaration was INTENDED to do. But that is not what I asked. I didn’t ask about what it was intended to do - I asked what it actually did. If this is difficult to understand, please let me know and I will try to explain it more simply.

It is apparent that you are trying to avoid answering the question, but let me try again. Please provide any information that you have that can support your earlier statement that “the NZ Traveller Declaration has been a highly valuable resource for our contact tracing team when investigating border cases”. I presume you had some factual basis for making that statement in your earlier letter, so please provide evidential support for that statement. On the other hand, if, in fact, you have no idea whether the NZ Traveller Declaration was in fact (as opposed to in theory) “highly valuable”, then please state that.

Next, please provide the total number of cases that your contact tracing teams worked on during the period since the NZ Traveller Declaration was introduced, by month.

Yours sincerely,

R S Grant

Link to this

From: hnzOIA

Tēnā koe, 

 

Thank you for contacting Te Whatu Ora, Health NZ. This is an automatic
reply to confirm that we have received your email.  Depending on the
nature of your request you may not receive a response for up to 20 working
days.  We will try to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

s information that is identified to be of general public interest, the
response may also be published on our website. If we e response to your
OIA request, all personal information, including your name and contact
details will be removed.

 

Ngā mihi

 

Te Whatu Ora, Health NZ.

show quoted sections

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From: hnzOIA


Attachment image.png
175K Download


Tçnâ koe R S Grant, 
 
Thank you for your email asking for the following information under the
Official Information Act 1982 (the Act):
“I am looking for any information at all that you can provide that can
demonstrate, with evidential support, that the NZ Traveller Declaration
was actually used for something in practice. Not in theory - in practice.
Your response to the first part of my question didn’t even attempt to
answer it. I asked for evidential support for your earlier statement that
the NZ Traveller Declaration HAS BEEN A HIGHLY VALUABLE RESOURCE etc. You
did not provide anything of the sort. You merely provided an explanation
of what the NZ Traveller Declaration was INTENDED to do. But that is not
what I asked. I didn’t ask about what it was intended to do - I asked what
it actually did. If this is difficult to understand, please let me know
and I will try to explain it more simply.
It is apparent that you are trying to avoid answering the question, but
let me try again. Please provide any information that you have that can
support your earlier statement that “the NZ Traveller Declaration has been
a highly valuable resource for our contact tracing team when investigating
border cases”. I presume you had some factual basis for making that
statement in your earlier letter, so please provide evidential support for
that statement. On the other hand, if, in fact, you have no idea whether
the NZ Traveller Declaration was in fact (as opposed to in theory) “highly
valuable”, then please state that.
Next, please provide the total number of cases that your contact tracing
teams worked on during the period since the NZ Traveller Declaration was
introduced, by month."
 
This email is to let you know that Te Whatu Ora requires more time to make
a decision on your request.
 
The Act requires that we advise you of our decision on your request no
later than 20 working days after the day we received your request.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to meet that time limit and we are
therefore writing to notify you of an extension of the time to make our
decision to 14 February 2023. We apologise for the late notice and
inconvenience. 
 
This extension is required because the consultations necessary to make a
decision on your request are such that a proper response cannot reasonably
be made within the original time limit.
 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. 
 
If you are not happy with this extension, you have the right to make a
complaint to the Ombudsman. Information about how to do this is available
at [1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or by phoning 0800 802 602.
 
Ngâ mihi
Ministerial Services

Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand
TeWhatuOra.govt.nz
 

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