Official Information Act (OIA) request

10 October 2019


Tēnā koe

We have received advice from the Office of the Ombudsman that the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society’s survey to all schools is an Official Information Act request. Therefore, we advise that all school Boards of Trustees who have received this survey to commit to the following:

  • Respond to the survey as soon as possible – an OIA request must be responded as soon as reasonably practicable, and no later than 20 working days after it was received. If the school Board has not responded within or by that specific timeframe then it should still answer as a matter of urgency.
  • Provide details relating to the questions within the survey.

Also, a school Board can request an extension but only if it is within the 20 working days upon receiving the request and must provide:

  • The specific time period of the extension;
  • The reasons justifying the extension, which are that:
    • the request is for a large amount of information or requires a search through a large amount of information, and meeting the original time limit would interfere with the operations of the Board; or
    • consultations necessary to make a decision on the request are such that a making proper response cannot reasonably be done within the original time limit;
  • State that the requester has the right to complain to the Ombudsman about the extension.

Below are some useful links to the Office of the Ombudsman's guidance material:

  • The OIA and school boards of trustees, which provides 'need-to-know' information about the OIA, and is available here.
  • The OIA for Ministers and agencies, which has a section about the proper use of extensions (discussed on pages 23024). The guide is available here.

Please contact the Advisory and Support Centre if you have any further queries about this request on 0800 782 435 (option 1).


Patrick Ikiua
Regional Director - Principal Adviser Employment

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