Grant Robertson's Instagram account

Mark Wong made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Department of Internal Affairs should have responded by now (details and exceptions). The requester can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Mark Wong

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

Grant Roberson has been accused of using his official government instagram account to follow

Can you please confirm whether or not Grant was ever following this account?
If so, can you confirm for how long he was following this account?

Lastly, can you please supply evidence from Instagram to support your answers?

Yours faithfully,

Mark Wong

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From: OIA
Department of Internal Affairs

Tēnā koe Mark

Thank you for your OIA request to the Department of Internal Affairs (included with this email). You have contacted the incorrect agency.

As the information you have requested is not held by the Department of Internal Affairs, but is believed to be held by Hon. Grant Robertson, Cabinet Minister, we are transferring your request to the Minister for response, in accordance with section 14(b) of the Official Information Act 1982.

You can expect to hear from the office of Hon. Grant Robertson shortly in regard to your request. If you would like to contact the Minister directly, you are able to email him at [email address]>

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision to transfer. Information about how to make a complaint is available at or Freephone 0800 802 602.

Nāku, nā

Michelle Reed (she/her)
Lead Advisor Official Correspondence | Information Management and Privacy
He Ringa Manaaki | Workplace Services Group
He Pou Aronui | Organisational Capability and Services
Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
Level 3, 45 Pipitea St | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand |

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From: Hon Grant Robertson

Attachment Mark Wong.pdf
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Letter from Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance, attached.


Private Secretary | Office of Hon Grant Robertson

Minister of Finance | Minister for Sport and Recreation  | Minister for
Cyclone Recovery

Leader of the House

Member of Parliament for Wellington Central

Private Bag 18 888 |Parliament Buildings |Wellington 6011 


The information contained in this email is privileged and confidential and
intended for the addressee only.  If you are not the intended recipient,
you are asked to respect that confidentiality and not disclose, copy or
make use of its contents.  If received in error you are asked to destroy
this email and contact the sender immediately.  Your assistance is


Please note information about meetings related to the Ministers’
portfolios will be proactively released (this does not include personal or
constituency matters). For each meeting in scope, the summary would list:
date, time (start and finish), brief description, location, who the
meeting was with, and the portfolio. If you attend a meeting with the
Minister on behalf of an organisation, the name of the organisation will
be released. If you are a senior staff member at an organisation, or meet
with the Minister in your personal capacity, your name may also be
released. The location of the meeting will be released, unless it is a
private residence. The proactive release will be consistent with the
provisions in the Official Information Act, including privacy
considerations. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to ask for a
copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to
be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of
your information, or to have it corrected, or are concerned about the
release of your information in the meeting disclosure, please contact the
sender. You can read more about the proactive release policy at

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From: Mark Wong

Dear Hon Grant Robertson,

It clearly states on the account that it is “approved by Rob Salmond” & Rob is the general secretary of the Labour Party.

The account handle is “grantrobertsonmp”

The majority of the content posted from that account is government related.

This is not a personal account & I would urge you to comply with my request as you are required to by law.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Wong

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L . K. Harris left an annotation ()

As of Saturday the 10th of June, 2023 at 11am the description of the Instagram account in question is as follows:

Grant Robertson
MP for Wellington Central, NZ Labour Party. Also contains traces of sport and quirky alternative music. Auth by Rob Salmond, 187 Featherston St, Wgtn.
220 Willis Street, Wellington, New Zealand

The instagram profile has a blue tick verification badge from Meta, which also links to the Facebook page of the MP. Instagram and Facebook, both owned by Meta, are directly linked and compatible, and designed to work together upon signing up for an account. Please note the criteria for verification of a politician as per Metas guidelines on their website are numerous and detailed in the case of a Politician. From Meta’s site: “The meaning of the verified badge has been updated to represent authenticity. An Instagram account with a verified badge * next to its name now means that Instagram has confirmed that it is the authentic presence for that person or brand.” As per Meta’s website describing the verification process, one means of verification is to: “Have a government-issued ID that matches the name on your profile and profile photo.” Verified pages of politicians and world leaders are defined as a clear indication of trust, and represents in a public setting that a professional political profile is verifiable, true and real to the politician it belongs to.

Please also note that the website listed in the description of the instagram account : is a link directly to the url: This is the website of the offical Labour Party currently in government. The web page above has the following offical information as follows:

Hon Grant Robertson
MP for Wellington Central
Minister of Finance, Cyclone Recovery, and Sport and
Leader of the House
“I will work to build an ever better, fairer New Zealand, where we seek to ensure that achieving one’s potential is not just the preserve of the privileged, but possible for all.”

Wellington Central electorate office

04 801 8079

220 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
PO Box 27351, Wellington 6141

Parliamentary office

04 817 8703

Freepost PO Box 18 888
Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160

Further down this web page is links to his associated verified and offical MP accounts of Facebook, and Twitter, all clearly referencing his status as an MP of the Labour Party.

Note that currently, the link directly from instagram is broken, and that to get the through url re direction to the Labour Party Grant Robertson profile you need to enter into a seperate browser. Currently all comments on Grant Robertson MPs instagram are restricted.

On the other MPs listed in the “meet our team” - profiles on the offical Labour Party website, offical MP instagram accounts that are shown, and have a instagram icon, direct click through link to these verified MP instagram profiles. At this time the following MPs with direct Instagram click through links to their offical verified accounts are: Rt Hon Chris Hipkins, Hon Dr Megan Woods, Hon Jan Tinetti, Hon Micheal Wood, Hon Kiri Allan, Hon Peeni Henare, Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Hon Ginny Anderson… and so on. Grant Robertson’s offical MP instagram profile link on the Labour Party website is currently missing, or has been removed, while the listed MPs above have a working link to theirs. Please click here, scroll down to the line that say’s “like and follow” next to the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter icons that link to the described offical accounts. The Labour Party has clearly published links to Offical and Verified MP Social Media Accounts.

The claim that the question will not be answered due to the instagram profile being “personal” is an attempt to mislead and not answer the very valid and concerning OIA request. This Verified, offical, Senior MP instagram account, which has been promoted to “like and follow” by the Offical Labour Party Website, is a publicly accessible account for offical information, has been used by the minister in a ministerial capacity for offical public information and government announcements including offical COVID 19 information, political campaigns, publishing offical Labour advertisements and announcing government policy. This Instagram account is NOT a personal private account.

Upon request, screen capture video’s can be provided to verify and assist with my observations of the websites and MPs social media accounts above.

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Black left an annotation ()

According to the website, has been introduced.

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Black left an annotation ()

According to the website, has been introduced.

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Things to do with this request

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