Legal advice to Schools
The request was refused by Crown Law Office.
From: Liam Stoneley
Dear Crown Law Office,
This is a request for information, made under ss 4 and 5 of the Official Information Act 1982 (“the Act”). I therefore would like the following information;
1. The legal advice drafted and referred to in the below article; and
2. Any other relevant documents or reports regarding legal advice to Schools.
Please CONFIRM receipt of this email to prevent unnecessary follow-up emails and extensions being requested.
As required by s12(1) of the Act, I am a New Zealand citizen. I will provide confirmation of this, if required. However, since all of our correspondence will be published on the FYI.org.nz site, I will only do so over the phone or email, with which you provide. This would only be for the purpose of citizenship confirmation, and nothing further related to this request.
As required by s12(3) of the Act, I shall provide reason(s) why this request should be treated as URGENT. The questions above raise important issues of accountability of the Government, its departments and agents. Any and all information provided as a result of this request could and may be published either by the writer online to a wide audience or passed onto media outlets for publication so that the public can be kept informed on important issues of transparency.
As required by s13(c) of the Act, if this request “has not been made … to the appropriate department or Minister of the Crown or organisation or local authority”, it is your duty to give reasonable assistance to me to direct my request to the appropriate department or Minister of the Crown or organisation or local authority.
Further to the above statutory requirement, under s14 of the Act, if the information I seek is either not held or you believe it is more closely connected with another department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or of a local authority you shall promptly, and in any case not later than 10 working days after the day on which the request is received, transfer the request to the other department or Minister of the Crown or organisation, or to that local authority, AND inform me accordingly.
As required under s15A of the Act, if you believe that a time extension is warranted for this request, you must under ss15A(2),(3) and (4) give notice to me of this extension within 20 working days after the day on which my request was received. In that notice, you should state; the period of the extension, give reasons for the extension and remind me of my right to complain to the Ombudsman under s28(3). Finally, the extension must be for a reasonable time, having regards to the circumstances.
As required by s18B of the Act, you must consider consulting me before refusing my request under the provisions of ss18(e) and (f) which relate to a document not being able to be found or existing or where substantial collation and research would be required for my current request.
As required by s19(a)(i), you must provide reasons if you refuse any parts of this request.
I will, if required, complain to the Ombudsman, as is my right under s28(3) of the Act, if any of the above statutory requirements on you are not complied with. Further to this, if your reply is not “as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received” as required under s15(1) of the Act, I will also complain to the Ombudsman.
This request is made through the site FYI.org.nz. All correspondence will be automatically forwarded to me through the site and published online immediately. I require, where appropriate, all electronic copies of all documents in your response. For more information on how the site works, please visit www.fyi.org.nz/help/about.
From: Liam Stoneley
Dear Crown Law Office,
By law, you must reply by today. Please give this your URGENT attention.
From: Paul Rishworth
Crown Law Office
Dear Mr Stoneley
Your Official Information Act request – legal advice to schools
You requested a copy of the legal advice referred to in the New Zealand
Herald article appearing at
and “any other relevant documents or reports regarding legal advice to
The legal advice referred to in the Herald article has not yet been
completed. The advice will be provided to the Ministry of Education. Being
legal advice, it will be subject to legal professional privilege (refer s
9(2)(h) of the Act).
As to your request for other relevant documents or reports regarding legal
advice to schools, the position is that Crown Law does not represent or
provide legal advice to school boards of trustees.
Paul Rishworth QC
Senior Crown Counsel
Crown Law Te Tari Ture o te Karauna
DDI: +64 4 494 5639
M: +64 027 838 5789
F: +64 4 473 3482