1 July 2016
Attention Pamela Absolom
Sent by email to: [FYI request #4157 email]
Dear Ms Absolom
OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST
As you know, we act for Rangiora High School.
We refer to your latest request for information from the School on 22 June 2016
) under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA
Response to your Latest Request
Your latest request contained the following questions for the School:
"(A). If the house was sold at a 'public' auction, why therefore is the sale price
not public or available?"
"(B). Educational purposes such as? I would like examples of the 'purposes.'"
In relation to the sale price, the Commissioner has clearly already responded to you
on this issue in her letter of 21 June 2016 where she stated: "the house sale price is
currently commercial information between the contracting parties and is not yet
" Accordingly your request is refused on the grounds that it is
repetitive, vexatious and trivial (section 18(h) of the OIA) and also that the disclosure
of the information is likely to cause unreasonable prejudice to the commercial
position of the School and its commercial activities (sections 9(2)(b)(ii) and 9(2)(i) of
In relation to examples of 'Educational purposes', the request is refused because it is
clearly vexatious (section 18(h) of the OIA). Educational purposes are obviously
anything related to the management and operation of the School. It is not the
School's job to list examples of what this is or explain this to you. In any event, there
is publicly available information (on the School's and Ministry's website), which will
explain this to you if you do not understand (also grounds for refusal under section
18(d) of the OIA).
Right to complain to the Ombudsman
If you do not agree with the School's decision to refuse your Latest Request, you
have the right to seek an investigation and review of the refusal by the Ombudsman.
The contact details for the office of the Ombudsman are available on its website: http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/make-a-complaint.
History of vexatious, frivolous and trivial requests
We have reviewed your extensive history of correspondence with the School and
consider that you continue to make repetitive and trivial requests of the School.
Level 5 Wynn Williams House 47 Hereford Street Christchurch PO Box 4341 DX WX11179 Christchurch 8140 New Zealand
+64 3 379 7622 F
+64 3 379 2467 E
[email address] W
www.wynnwilliams.co.nz AUCKLAND P
+64 9 300 2600 F
+64 9 300 2609
We recognise the importance of participation, transparency and accountability of
government officials and departments. However, it is not the School's role to provide
responses to every question you have about the School or education systems. There
are many online resources on the Ministry's website and on the School's website that
may answer your questions.
The time it takes to consider each and every request affects the School's ability to
operate in an efficient manner. The School's commissioner is obligated to take time
to consider each of your OIA requests. The School's commissioner is only contracted
for 25 hours per week. The sheer volume of your OIA requests take a significant
amount of time out of those hours. We therefore consider that responding to your
vexatious, trivial and repetitive requests is not in the public interest.
We consider that the School has gone above and beyond to respond to your
numerous requests, including incurring substantial legal costs to ensure it is meeting
its legal requirements, which would otherwise go to the School's other operational
expenses if you had not made the vexatious requests.
We note that any impairment to the efficient running of the School and the cost of
responding to your requests is to the detriment of the students.
Harassment and unlawful requests
We will continue to consider requests that you send, but if we consider that they fit
into a category under the OIA which means that the School is entitled to refuse the
request, we will not hesitate to do so.
We consider that your conduct and continued requests amount to harassment and
they are causing distress to the officials who are becoming unable to effectively carry
out their duties due to the time taken to respond to your requests.
We recognise that this is a serious matter and note that we have not come to this
conclusion without due consideration. We consider that the School has acted in good
faith by responding to each of your requests in a reasonable way and refusing them
only where they are frivolous or repetitive. We note that if you continue to make
vexatious, frivolous, trivial or repetitive requests, we will recommend that more formal
action is taken to prevent you from making such unlawful requests.
Yours faithfully Wynn Williams
+64 3 379 7622 M
+64 27 460 6639 E