Te kāwanatanga tuwhera me ngā OIA
Open Government and OIAs
We are committed to open government and improving practices around the proactive release and publishing of official information. Archives New Zealand plays an integral role in building trust and confidence in government through the administration of the Public Records Act 2005.
The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) plays a significant role in New Zealand's constitutional framework and enables New Zealanders like you to have access to information that supports participation in government, and protects your rights and entitlements.
The proactive release of official information is another element that helps build trust and confidence in government.
Open Government Partnership
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international agreement by governments to create greater transparency, increase civic participation and use new technologies to make governments more open, effective and accountable. The State Services Commission leads this work in New Zealand.
As an OGP member, New Zealand delivers an action plan every two years that is jointly developed with the public. The plan focuses on specific, measurable commitments that will improve transparency, accountability and public participation in government.
Under the Third National Action Plan, we are leading Commitment 10: Monitoring the effectiveness of public body information management practices.
By signing up to the Plan, we have committed to developing and implementing a monitoring framework that supports public reporting on how well government is managing information. The framework will extend across all the central and local government entities within our remit, including Ministers of the Crown.
As the framework is developed and rolled-out, New Zealanders can expect to see improvements in the availability of insights and data on information management, in both individual organisations and government as-a-whole. These insights will cover current performance, progress over time and areas for improvement. We will also be using our monitoring data to identify which organisations are performing exceptionally well and who we need to work with more closely to lift performance.
Official Information Act 1982
The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) helps New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and anyone in New Zealand to access information held by government and government agencies. This promotes openness and transparency, and enables public participation in government. The guidelines below will help you to make an information request to Archives New Zealand.
Before you make a request
It can be really useful to read the Ombudsman's Making official information requests - A guide for requesters before making a request. This guide sets out what information you can ask for, how to go about it, and what organisations, including Archives, are required to do in responding to your information request.
The State Services Commission Guide explains how organisations will respond to requests.
How to make a request
To help us identify the information you are looking for, try to be as specific as you can about the documents, information types or time period you need. If we are not sure what information you are looking for, we will contact you to ask before we begin working on the response. Please remember to include your name and contact address (email or postal) so we can get in touch!
To request official information about the activity of Archives New Zealand, you can either email us, send us letter, or make a publicly viewable request through FYI.org.nz.
Archives New Zealand,
PO Box 12-050,
As a general rule, the public archives we hold cannot be requested through the OIA. Requests for access to archival material should be directed to our Research Services team, who will be able to assist you. Submit a research or access request online through our General Inquiries Form, or send a letter to one of our offices.
How long will it take?
We will acknowledge your request, and respond no later than 20 working days from the day we receive it. We may need to extend the time frame for response under section 15A of the OIA if your request is for a large amount of information, or if we need to consult with others before we release information. In any case, we will let you know when you can expect to receive our response.
If there is significant public interest in the information you have requested, we may make the response publicly available online. If we do this, we will not publish your personal information.
Will there be a charge?
Usually there will be no charge for our responses to an OIA request, however if there is a substantial cost to us in providing the information, you may be asked to meet some or all of the cost of your request. If this happens, you will be told of the charge, or given an estimate for the cost. You can then choose whether to continue with the request or not.
Wherever possible, we will try to help you refine your request in such a way that it will not result in a charge.
Will all the information I request be released?
When a good reason exists under the OIA for not providing the information, we may refuse to release or withhold some of that information. Common reasons include the need to protect people’s personal privacy, or because the information is already available publicly. If this happens, we will tell you the reason for the decision. For more information about why requests may be refused, or information withheld see sections 6, 9, and 18 of the Official Information Act.
If you believe we have not followed the OIA correctly, or you are unsatisfied with how we have responded to your request for another reason, you can:
Contact us and let us know in the first instance so that we can try to resolve the issue immediately. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit a complaint to The Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will decide whether to investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us.
Open data is data anyone can use and share. It has an open licence, is openly accessible and is both human-readable and machine-readable. Open data is valuable and has many uses. It can drive innovation and contribute to positive social and cultural outcomes. It can also increase transparency and democratic participation. You can read more about open data in New Zealand at data.govt.nz.
We release open data under the New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles, which ensure the data is open, protected, readily available, trusted and authoritative, well-managed and reusable. There is no charge to use our open data sets.
We have released six datasets:
Dataset One - Archway Agency List (XLS 231.42 KB)
Dataset Two - Archway Accessions List (XLS 1.22 MB)
Dataset Three - NZDF Personnel File List (XLS 28.94 MB)
Dataset Four - 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition (XLS 924.60 KB)
Dataset Five - 1892 Women's Suffrage Petition (XLS 2.36 MB)
Request a dataset
If you're interested in a particular dataset that isn't currently available, please make a request through the request a dataset page on data.govt.nz. We'll do what we can to make more datasets available.