Buller District Council

Request for Official Information

Anybody can make a request for official information – verbally or in writing.
It’s best to make your request in writing. If we’re unsure about your request we’ll be in touch.

Guidance

Download: Making official information requests(external link) (pdf 964Kb) from the Office of the Ombudsman website.

How to make a request

If you are making your request in writing, please address it to:

EA to the Chief Executive and Mayor, Buller District Council, P O Box 21, Westport 7866
You can also email LGOIMA@bdc.govt.nz.

How long will it take?

The Council must respond to requests as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than 20 working days.

In most instances, staff will try to get the information out to you as soon as possible.

Urgent requests can be made, but the reasons for making an urgent request must be specified.

How much will it cost?

The first hour and first 20 pages of information is free.

We may charge for official information in accordance with the Fees and Charges schedule in Council’s Annual Plan. Under clause 13(4) of LGOIMA Council can request the amounts due are paid in advance of the release of information requested.

View fees and charges
(Page 13)

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) are covered by section 44A of LGOIMA and are subject to a separate timeframe and charging regime.

What information is available?

The Council operates under the principle of availability – the grounds for withholding information are listed in LGOIMA.

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

Why would we withhold information?

There are several major reasons for withholding requests for information made under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

Administrative reasons

  • Making the info available would be contrary to an enactment or constitute contempt of Court or Parliament.
  • The information requested is or will soon be publicly available.
  • The information requested does not exist or cannot be found.
  • The information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.
  • That the information requested is not held by the Council and we are not aware of another local authority or government organisation that might hold the information that we could transfer the request to.
  • The request is frivolous and vexatious or for trivial information.

Conclusive reasons for refusal

Making the information available would be likely to:

  • Prejudice the maintenance of the law including the prevention, investigation and detection of offences and the right to a fair trial; or
  • Endanger the safety of any person.

Other reasons

The Council is required to assess whether each of the following withholding reasons is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable in the public interest to make the information available.

Withholding the information is necessary to:

  • Protect the privacy of natural persons;
  • Protect information where the making available would disclose a trade secret or would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of a person;
  • Avoid serious offence to tikanga Māori or avoid disclosure of the location of a waahi tapu (relates to Resource Management Act 1991 matters);
  • Protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which a person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment;
  • Avoid prejudice to measures protecting public health and safety;
  • Avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mitigate material loss to members of the public;
  • Maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between members, officers or employees of Council or to protect them from improper pressure or harassment;
  • Maintain legal professional privilege;
  • Enable Council to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities;
  • Enable Council to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations);
  • To prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

Note: If a non natural person (such as a company or organisation) makes a request for its personal information, it has a right to access that information (under section 23) unless one of the grounds for refusal in section 26 apply.

 

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