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Official Information Act Requests

People in New Zealand can request government information (official information) and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.

The Official Information Act 1982 (or OIA) enables citizens, permanent residents, visitors to New Zealand, and body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand, to make a request for official information held by government agencies, including the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

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Making a request

Your request should be as clear and specific as you can possibly make it. Before making a request please check our other sources of information listed below.

You can contact us in a number of ways
to request information:

We would like:

  1. your name

  2. contact address (email or postal)

  3. details of the information you want.

We may ask you for more details.


If you make your request by phone or in person, we will either confirm it in writing ourselves or, if we’re not sure what you’re seeking, we may ask if you’d mind putting it in writing.

The State Services Commission provide advice on tips for requesting information and guidance on how agencies will respond.

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Before making a request

Before making a request please check our other sources of information. You may find the information you require is already available:

More information can be found on our Statistics and corporate documents page.

How long will it take?

We will acknowledge your request and are required by law to give you our decision on your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.

If we need more time to make our decision on your request, for example if you are requesting a lot of information, we will let you know and give you an idea of how long it will take. You can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman if you’re not happy
with our decision to extend the time.

Here is further guidance on how we will respond to your request.

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What does it cost?

Requesting official information is free, though we can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested. There’s no charge for the first hour spent on your request or for the first 20 pages of photocopying.

Find out more in our guidance on how we will respond.

If you are unhappy with our decision to charge, you can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman.

What if I'm not satisfied?

You may wish to contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve the issue.

You can make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:

  • have concerns regarding the decision we made on your request
  • were unhappy about the way your request was treated or processed.

These concerns can relate to the withholding of information, extending the timeframe to respond to you, any charges for providing the information you have requested, delays in providing you with a decision or the information, or your request being transferred.

The Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.

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Our OIA statistics

There is data on the number of requests the Office of Film and Literature Classification receives each year and the timeliness of our responses below.

For the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017:

  • Number of OIA requests: 8 completed
  • Number of OIA requests not completed within legislated time-frame: 0
  • Number of OIA complaints notified by the Ombudsman: 0

Our OIA statistics are also published on the Official Information Act Statistics part of the State Services Commission’s website.