Official Information Requests

Overview

Horowhenua District Council processes requests for information in accordance with the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the Privacy Act 1993. These aim to balance issues of transparency and public interest with limits on the disclosure of personal information.

How to request information

The Ombudsman's Office has produced guidelines to assist you in making a request. These guidelines can be downloaded below.

Ombudsman Guide - Making official information requests(PDF, 839KB)

Information can be requested by:

  • downloading and completing our Official Information Request form available below and emailing it, along with any attachments to LGOIMAOfficer@horowhenua.govt.nz
  • phoning our Customer Service Centre on (06) 366 0999; 
  • asking in person at one of our Customer Service Centres; or 
  • printing and completing our Official Information Request form and posting it, along with any supporting documents, to: LGOIMA Officer, Horowhenua District Council, Private Bag 4002, Levin 5540. 

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 your contact phone number and either a postal or email address so we can provide you with a response.

HDC Official Information Request Form (Writeable PDF)(PDF, 83KB)

Processing your 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. 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. We will let you know if we need to do this.

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.

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 most common reasons to withhold information are to:

  • protect peoples’ privacy 
  • maintain legal privilege 
  • enable the Council to carry on its commercial activities. 

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 imposing a charge.

Under the Charging Policy for LGOIMA Requests:

  • you are entitled to the first one (1) hour of time spent free 
  • you are entitled to twenty pages of free photocopying 
  • we can recover any other actual costs (eg reproducing a photograph) 
  • time in excess of one (1) hour is charged at $38.00 per half hour 
  • additional black and white copying is charged at 20 cents per page. 

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.

HDC Charging Policy for Local Government Official Information Act Requests(PDF, 2MB)

Review of decisions

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

Find out more

If you have any questions regarding official information requests email us at LGOIMAOfficer@horowhenua.govt.nz or phone (06) 366 0999.