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.
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:
- completing our online form
- downloading and completing our Official Information Request form 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.
Official Information Request Form (Writeable PDF / Printable Version)(PDF, 81KB)
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.
Please note that the processing time for all Official Information Requests (both online and offline) received on or after 27 November 2018 may be extended due to the way in which response times are measured during this period.
What does this mean?
The days between 25 December in any year and ending with 15 January in the following year are not deemed as working days. Horowhenua District Council is therefore not obligated to process Official Information Requests during this period.
Definition of a Working Day
The definition of a working day in the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 is any day of the week other than:
(a) Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, ANZAC Day, Labour Day, the Sovereign's Birthday and Waitangi Day; and
(b) A day in the period commencing with the 25th day of December in any year and ending with the 15th day of January in the following year.
You may ask that your request be treated as urgent. If you do, you must give reasons explaining the need for urgency.
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.
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)
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.
If you have any questions regarding official information requests email us at LGOIMAOfficer@horowhenua.govt.nz or phone (06) 366 0999.