Horowhenua District Council (Council) is committed to conducting its day-to-day business openly and being as transparent as legislation allows.
All LGOIMA requests are independently reviewed by the Executive Sponsor to ensure there are appropriate checks and balances in place to ensure we're meeting our responsibilities under the Act.
The Ombudsman's Office has produced the following guidelines to assist you in making a request:
Ombudsman Guide - Making official information requests
Information can be requested by:
- completing our online form
- downloading and completing our LGOIMA Request Form available under 'Related Information' 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 LGOIMA 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.
Note: Please don't use this form for Property File requests, LIM Applications or other general enquiries - you'll find information about these under 'Related Links'.
We'll acknowledge your request and you'll receive the information within 20 working days (day 1 is the first working day after the day on which the request was received).
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 a third party, and we can't provide you with the information within 20 days, we may extend the time limit. We'll let you know if we need to do this.
If your request is overly broad, we can explore redefining the request. In these circumstances, we'll request clarification within 7 working days if the amended request is to be treated as a new request. This is covered under Section 13(7) of the Act.
In accordance with Section 12 of the LGOIMA, we'll transfer the request to another agency if they're best placed to respond to it. We'll transfer the request to another agency promptly, and no later than 10 working days after the request is received.
You may ask for your request to be treated as urgent. We require a suitable reason if this is the case. We'll try and process urgent requests as soon as possible.
The principle of the LGOIMA legislation is that information should be made available unless there are good reasons for withholding it. The LGOIMA provides statutory reasons for withholding information or refusing a request. The main reasons for withholding official information include:
- prejudice the maintenance of the law
- endanger the safety of a person
- breach the privacy of any natural person (including a deceased person)
- disclose confidential or commercial sensitive information
- protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidentiality
- maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through free and frank expression of opinions by or between elected member and staff and the protection of these people from “improper pressure of harassment”
- maintain legal professional privilege
Anyone can ask for personal information about themselves and this will be considered under the Privacy Act 2020.
Council won't charge for requests made under the Privacy Act.
Council will act consistently with current guidance on charging issued by the Office of the Ombudsman. Any decision to charge should also consider the discretion to extend the timeframe for responding to a request under section 13A of the LGOIMA or contact the requester and assist them in identifying or refining the information they are seeking.
We may decide to charge for one or more of the following reasons:
- the request if likely to consume a considerable amount of labour or resources;
- the requester has recently made a large volume of time-consuming requests;
- the request is likely to take a significant amount of research, collation, and reproduction of information.
We might ask for some or all of the cost to be paid in advance. Our charging guidelines are detailed below. The Ministry of Justice has issued charging guidelines to be followed by agencies subject to the LGOIMA / OIA. The standard charges are:
|The first one (1) hour of time spent on fulfilling official information requests will be free; and then all additional time will be charged at $38/half hour.
|The first twenty (20) pages of black and white photocopying will be free, with a charge of 20c per page for all additional black and white pages
|$0.20 per page
All other charges incurred shall be fixed at an amount that recovers the actual costs involved.
If we're going to charge you, we'll 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.
We'll publish information provided in response to a request under the LGOIMA. When determining whether to proactively publish a response to a request, our considerations may include:
- whether the information would be of general interest to the public;
- whether there has been more than one request for the information, or on the topic the information covers;
- the provisions of the LGOIMA and Privacy Act 2020 in respect of withholding official information; and
- any legal risk to the Council in releasing the official information.
We'll advise LGOIMA requesters that responses to them may be published on our website. Before publication, all personal details will be redacted from the response to ensure the identity of the requester is not revealed.
The frequency of publishing information which is approved for proactive release under these guidelines is at the discretion of the Council. Such information will be uploaded to our website. We'll publish the LGOIMA response along with a summary of the request (requests and responses may be paraphrased).
If you're unhappy with a decision to withhold information, to charge a fee, to extend the timeframe on a request or have concerns about how we've dealt with your request, you're able to have the decision reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsmen.
If you have any questions regarding official information requests please email us at LGOIMAOfficer@horowhenua.govt.nz or phone 06 366 0999.