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Religious Instruction

Mark Honeychurch made this Official Information request to Khandallah School

This request has an unknown status. We're waiting for Mark Honeychurch to read recent responses and update the status.

From: Mark Honeychurch

Dear Khandallah School,

Please could I be sent a copy of all school documentation, as well as all correspondence to and from Khandallah School’s Board of Trustees, teachers and other staff (including emails to/from churches and parents), on the topic of Religious Instruction in Khandallah School, from the beginning of 2015 to the present. I understand that, in the interests of privacy, some names and other details will need to be redacted.

I would like to receive this information electronically, in an accessible digital format - such as Word Documents, PDFs (but not scanned documents) or plain text files.

Please let me know if clarification is needed for any part of my request, as I will be happy to help.

I can confirm that, as a New Zealand citizen, I have a right to request this information under the Official Information Act. For more details about the OIA, and the school’s responsibilities under the act, you can read the following document from the Office of the Ombudsman:

http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...

I would appreciate it if I could be sent an email confirming that my request has been received.

Regards,

Mark Honeychurch

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Hi Mark
This email is to acknowledge receipt of your Official Information request.
Khandallah School received this request today (11 September 2018) as it
went to a spam folder which is checked infrequently.
We will be in touch once we have considered your request.
Regards
Shaun Twaddle
Chair - Khandallah School

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

I don't believe that's a valid interpretation of when the request was received. As soon as it went to their spam folder, the school received it. It doesn't matter when they first read it. If they need more time, they should invoke section 15A to extend the request.

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Mark Hanna left an annotation ()

Sorry, make that section 14. Forgot we're talking about the LGOIMA here instead of the OIA.

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Oliver Lineham left an annotation ()

From the Office of the Ombudsman:

"When a request is received, and when it is seen by someone in the agency, are not the same thing.

Where an agency has designated a particular information system (like an email address, Twitter account, or Facebook page) for the purpose of receiving electronic communications, those communications will be taken to be received at the time they enter the information system, not when they come to the agency’s attention. [See s 214 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.]

So whenever the email, tweet or post enters the system, that’s when it’s received. Use that date as the day of receipt for the purpose of calculating the maximum 20 working days for responding to an official information request."
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resou...

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Mark Honeychurch left an annotation ()

I figured it'd be the case that a spam folder is not a valid excuse for delay, but in this case I'm happy to not rock the boat. What I really want is to receive all the information I've asked for, and given the poor track record schools have had with answering requests I'm happy to give the school an extra week and not cause unnecessary animosity.

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Kia ora Mark

Thank you for your email to Khandallah School that was received on 11
September requesting the following information under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act):

“Please could I be sent a copy of all school documentation, as well as all
correspondence to and from Khandallah School’s Board of Trustees, teachers
and other staff (including emails to/from churches and parents), on the
topic of Religious Instruction in Khandallah School, from the beginning of
2015 to the present. I understand that, in the interests of privacy, some
names and other details will need to be redacted.

I would like to receive this information electronically, in an accessible
digital format - such as Word Documents, PDFs (but not scanned documents)
or plain text files.”

Khandallah School responds to all official information requests made in
good faith in accordance with the Act.

In considering your request, as currently worded, we believe that the
information requested cannot be made available without substantial
collation or research. Further, responding to this request is likely to
have a significant impact on the ability of appropriate staff to process
the request at a time where the school is, among other things, navigating
its way through significant building works and preparing for a large
community event to celebrate the school’s 125^th anniversary.

We would like to offer you the opportunity to refine your request to more
specific documentation held by the school. Along with this, we believe it
would also be useful to understand the intent of the request so that we
know what information/documentation that matters to you the most.

If you are unable to refine your request, the school may consider refusing
the request under section 18(f) of the Act. This will only be done after
we have considered the tools available to the school under section 18(f)
of the Act, namely extension of the time-frame and/or charging.

To refine your request or if you wish to discuss this further, please
contact me via return email or contact Shaun Twaddle at this email address
([1][email address]) or on 027 306 8891.

Once we have your clarification we will commence work on your request. We
look forward to hearing from you.

 

Ngā mihi

Shaun Twaddle

Chair – Khandallah School

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From: Mark Honeychurch

Hi Shaun,

Thanks for getting back to me.

Firstly, to clear up a minor issue, you've said that my request was "received on 11 September". However my request was sent and delivered on September 4th, and my understanding is that this is legally when the request was "received" by the school (and the four week response time started), not when I followed up a week later and was informed that the email was subsequently found in a spam folder (see page 5 of http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste... for details).

To refine my request and make it substantially easier to collate the information I've requested, I'm happy to restrict my request to data that is held digitally only (emails, digital documents including meeting minutes, etc), and to restrict the emails to those sent and received by Board of Trustee members. Given the search facilities of modern operating systems and email clients, along with the threading of email conversations in most email software these days, I presume that the discovery of the information I have requested should be relatively easy given a few key search terms and relevant email addresses.

Once the emails and documents I've requested have been found, I would recommend saving them in PDF format (documents can be saved as PDFs from Word or Google Docs, and emails can usually be printed as PDF files directly from an email client). These can then be easily searched and redacted using a variety of tools (such as those recommended at https://pdf.wondershare.com/top-pdf-soft...).

You've asked for my intent with regard to this request. Although legally I do not have to tell you my intent (see page 4 of http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...), I'm happy to let you know why I'm asking for this information. The reason for my request is that I would like to have an understanding of how Religious Instruction was introduced to Khandallah School (back in 2016, as far as I understand), and how the school has made its decisions regarding the continued and future offering of Religious Instruction within the school since then. Given that Khandallah School has recently been in the media about this issue, I believe that this information is in the public interest, especially for parents of children at the school. This is one of the reasons why my request has been made publicly through the FYI website, so that the information I receive will be readily available to all interested parties. It's also why I have asked for the data to be supplied in a native digital format, so that it will be easily searchable and quotable (via copy and paste), rather than requiring people to OCR or transcribe the text.

You've stressed that the school is busy at the moment, and that this is likely to impact on your ability to process my request. I understand this, and I'm happy to make allowance for it. Given that I've now refined my request, I'm happy to accept a new deadline of responding to my request four weeks (20 working days) from now - despite the fact that the request for clarification was received outside of the 7 working day limit required by the OIA (see page 14 of http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste...). I will also be willing to accept an extension if you ask for one. For me the most important thing is that this information is made public, and done within a time frame that makes the data useful for parents.

You've mentioned that if I don't refine my request, you would consider refusing it under 18(f) of the Act. Hopefully my refinements above, suggestions for how to collate the information efficiently, and the Ombudsman's advice that "Refusal is a last resort" (Page 4 of http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/syste... has more details) are sufficient to allow Khandallah School to accept and process my request.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Honeychurch

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Hi Mark

Thank you for your response.

I appreciate your willingness to understand the confusion around the date
your request was received.

Thank you also for being prepared to condense your request. I can confirm
that Khandallah School accepts your refined request and we will start
processing it. As outlined in your email, the revised deadline for our
response is 20 working days from 18 September 2018.

 

Regards
Shaun Twaddle

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Hi Mark

 

I am writing in relation to your request under the Official Information
Act 1982 (“the Act”).

Following on from our previous email exchange, I am now writing to you to
advise under section 15A(1)a) of the Act that we require an extension of
time to respond to your request. In your response of 18 September 2018 you
noted you would be willing to accept an extension if one was asked for.
Your request, while refined, still necessitates a search through a larger
quantity of information than first thought and meeting the original
timeframes would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the school.

As per section 15(2) of the Act, any extension under subsection (1) shall
be for a reasonable period of time having regard for the circumstances.
The extension required, given the part-time and voluntary nature of the
board, and the workload of the board and school with other events and
building work underway as we have previously advised you of, is a further
20 working days from today. This means that we will work to provide the
material requested on or possibly before 7 November 2018.

You have the right, under section 28(3) of the Act, to seek an
investigation and review of my response by an Ombudsman, via the following
contact channels:

              Email: [1][email address]

              Post: The Ombudsman, PO Box 101152, Wellington 6143

              Online: [2]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

 

Kind regards

Shaun Twaddle

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Hi Mark
I am writing in relation to your request under the Official Information
Act 1982 (“the Act”).
We are in the final stages of ensuring that we have collated all the
information relevant to your request. A large volume of information has
been collated during what is a very busy time for the school. While we are
working to get the information to you by 7 November as previously
outlined, I wanted to make you aware that a delivery date of the end of
this week (9 November) may be more realistic given the checks we need to
apply.
We are committed to responding to your request as soon as possible.
Kind regards
Shaun Twaddle
Chair - Khandallah School Board of Trustees

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From: Board Of Trustees
Khandallah School

Hi Mark
This email is to let you know that we are still working on getting the OIA
response to you as soon as possible. We are seeking final clarification
and consultation with external parties. I hope to have our response to you
within the next few working days.

Regards
Shaun Twaddle
Chair - Khandallah School Board of Trustees

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School

Dear Mark,

This is the Khandallah school response to the Official information request
received on 4 September 2018 and subsequently extended several times, to
ensure completeness of the information provided.

Your original request under the Official Information Act 1982 (“the Act”)
was for “a copy of all school documentation, as well as all correspondence
to and from Khandallah School’s Board of Trustees, teachers and other
staff (including emails to/from churches and parents), on the topic of
Religious Instruction in Khandallah School, from the beginning of 2015 to
the present. “ Upon initial contact from myself, you refined the request
to “data that is held digitally only (emails, digital documents including
meeting minutes, etc), and to restrict the emails to those sent and
received by Board of Trustee members.”

Some information has been withheld, and names, email addresses, and email
subject lines redacted, under Part 1 Section 9(2)(a) of the Act - to
protect the privacy of natural persons. In one instance a confidential
document has been largely redacted to exclude all information other than
comments directly relevant religious instruction.

I have refused any relevant minutes of 2018 under s 18(d) of the Act as
that information is publicly available on our school website.

I appreciate that the request was for information from 2015 to present.
However, there is nothing in our records relating to ‘Religious
Instruction’ from before February 2017. 

I appreciate you have asked for the data to “be supplied in a native
digital format, so that it will be easily searchable and quotable”.
However, please note several of the documents within the attached PDFs are
small scanned documents which we have merged to provide two continuous
records from each of 2017 and 2018. We provide this information to you in
the format requested in good faith.

Please note:

[Quote text hidden] [Message clipped] or [Message truncated] refers to the
previous email(s) in the subject line chain.

Unfortunately, the two documents that have been compiled in response to
your request are both over 20mb. I will therefore provide these using the
FYI ‘web’ application as recommended on the FYI website. If this approach
does not work, I will get in touch with you to arrange getting the
documents to you.

I trust you find the above information, and attached documentation,
helpful.  You have the right, under s 28(3) of the Act, to seek an
investigation and review of my response by an Ombudsman, via the following
contact channels:

Email:  [1][email address

Post:  The Ombudsman, PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143

Online:  [2]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

Kind regards

Shaun Twaddle

Chair - Khandallah School Board of Trustees

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School


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24K Download


Hi Mark
I tried to attach the two documents (one for 2017 and one for 2018) via
the FYI website as outlined on the help page of the FYI website.
Unfortunately I get the below error message, even when only attaching one
document. Each file is over 20mb in size.
[1]image.png
I have copied the the FYI requests email address to this email in the hope
that they can provide provide further guidance on how to provide the files
via the site. If this is not possible, we will need to find another way of
getting the files to you. Do you have any preferences?
Regards
Shaun Twaddle
Chair - Khandallah School Board of Trustees

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From: Khandallah School Board of Trustees
Khandallah School


Attachment image.png
24K Download


Hi Mark
I have not heard back from the FYI site about how to share the large
documents. I have therefore placed the documents in a Google Drives
folder. This folder can be accessed via the following link:

[1]https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1...

Please let me know if this method does not work.

Kind regards

Shaun Twaddle

Chair - Khandallah School Board of Trustees

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