Official information requests

​​​We are committed to promoting openness and transparency in everything we do. Most of the information you seek is readily available from this website – check to see if the answer to your question is available here​. If not, just ask our staff and, if possible, they will help you obtain this information. 

If you need a lot of information, or the information you require is not readily available, we will work with you on applying for the information.

Official information requests are governed by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA).  Under this Act, everything we do is public information and our books have to be open and freely available.

If you are not happy with the information provided under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, you can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Who can make a request?

Any individual, group or organisation can request information held by Hamilton City Council.​

How do I make a request?

You have a few options available to make an official information request:

Please be as specific as you can be in making your request; it helps us to find the information quickly for you. Make sure you include either a postal or email address so we can provide you with a response, even if your request is made by social media.

All requests for information are considered to be a request made under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) and the Privacy Act 1993 (though you do not need to say that you are making a request under and Act).

How long will it take to process my request?

We will acknowledge your request and you will receive the information within 20 working days. You can use the calculator from the Office of the Ombudsmen to determine when the 20 working days expire – and when you will have our response.
However, if your request is complex, involves a large amount of research and collation, or requires us to consult with other parties, and we cannot provide you with the information within 20 days, we may extend the time limit. If we need to do this, we will

  • let you know within the original 20 days
  • explain why we need an extension,
  • tell you how much extra time is required
  • let you know that you have a right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman about our decision to extend the timeframe

If the information you want is held by another organisation covered by the Act, we may transfer your request to that agency. If we transfer your request, we will let you know within 10 working days of receiving your request.

Online publication of requests and responses

We will publish on this website our responses to official information requests, especially if they may be of interest to the general public:
View previous official information requests and responses

When publishing the responses, we will withhold the names of individual requestors to protect their privacy.

Urgent requests

You may ask that your request be treated as urgent. If you do, you must give reasons explaining the need for urgency.

Withholding information

We may withhold information for specific reasons. If we do, we will explain the reason why.

The specific reasons enabling us to withhold information are set out in sections 6 and 7 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. The some of the reasons to withhold information are to:

  • protect peoples' privacy
  • maintain legal privilege
  • enable the Council to carry out its commercial activities
  • protect the safety of any person
  • protect confidential or commercially sensitive information
  • protect public health or safety

What will it cost?

Generally, there will be no charge for your request. Occasionally however, if a request is for a significant amount of information, or requires substantial collation and research, we may consider a charge.
Under the Ministry of Justice Guidelines you are entitled to:

    • The first three hours of time free (in excess of three hours is charged at $38 per 30mins)
    • 20 pages of free photocopying (additional copying is charged at 20 cents per page)
    • We can recover any other actual costs (eg. reproducing a photograph)

If we are going to charge you, we will advise you of the cost of processing your request before we begin working on it. You can then decide if you want to continue, withdraw or refine your request. We may ask you to pay some or all of this cost in advance.

View our Official Information Request (LGOIMA) Charging Policy

Review of decisions

If you are unhappy with a decision to withhold information, to charge you a fee, to extend the time frame on a request or you have concerns about how we have dealt with your request, you are able to have the decision investigated and reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsmen.

The Office of the Ombudsman can be contacted by:

Email: info@ombudsman.parliament.nz
Website: www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
Post: PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143
Phone: 0800 802 602

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding official information requests, please email us at democracy@hcc.govt.nz


 

 

Page reviewed: 26 Oct 2016 11:03am