Official Information Act requests

People in New Zealand can request official information from us and it will be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.


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 documents and reports page, including:

  • Previous OIA requests
  • Annual Reports
  • Statements of Intent
  • Our Chief Executive's expenses, gifts and hospitality disclosures

Making a request

Your request should be as clear and specific as you can possibly make it. Please include:

  1. Your name.
  2. Contact address (email or postal).
  3. Details of the information you're after.

There are a number of ways you can send your request to us:

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 Public Service Commission provides advice on tips for requesting information and guidance on how agencies will respond.


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 response time.

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


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.

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.


Responses and statistics

The Classification Office proactively releases our responses to the requests we receive.

Data on the number of requests the Classification Office receives each year and the timeliness of our responses can be found on the Public Service Commission website.


Contact us

If you'd like a hand with something, just reach out. We're happy to help.