On this page: Information the council holds, who can request information, how the council responds , charges for the supply of information , complaints to the Ombudsman, useful links
Information the council holds
Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) and the Privacy Act 1993, the Waikato Regional Council is required to protect and store the information that it holds, in a secure environment and make it available to the public upon request.
Information held by the council is public information, unless there is a good reason for withholding it. This information includes:
- hand written and computer generated documents
- maps and plans
- video or audio tapes, films, slides and photographs.
In some instances, the information requested may have been obtained by the council for its own use from another source and is therefore subject to copyright restrictions and may not be able to be reproduced for a third party without the consent of the copyright holder.
The key purposes of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) are to:
- make information held by local authorities more freely available and allow access to information
- promote open meetings
- allow people access to information
- protect information where it is in the public interest to do so, and for the sake of personal privacy.
The key purpose of the Privacy Act 1993 is to protect the privacy of natural persons in their contact with council.
Who can request information
Any individual, group or organisation can request information held by the council either about:
- themselves, under Section 33 of the Privacy Act 1993, or
- some aspect of the council’s activities under Section 10 of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA).
Requests for official information may be written or oral. The request for information should be as specific as possible. The council may seek clarification in determining if there is a reason for withholding the requested information.
Find out how to contact us.
How the council responds
When a request is received, council is required to supply the information within 20 working days of receipt of the request unless there is good reason for the information to be withheld as it would:
- endanger the safety of any person
- prejudice maintenance of the law
- compromise the privacy of any person
- reveal confidential or commercially sensitive information
- cause offence to tikanga Maori or would disclose the location of waahi tapu
- prejudice public health or safety
- compromise legal professional privilege
- disadvantage the local authority while carrying out negotiations or commercial activites
- allow information to be used for improper gain or advantage.
The council will acknowledge your request and advise you if it holds the information, if it can be made available or if it is held by another agency. If the requested information is held by another agency, council will pass your request on to that agency.
If the council needs extra time to source and provide the requested information, you will be advised that an extension of time is required, the reason for this and the estimated period of the extension.
Charges for the supply of information
If the information requested is extensive, a charge may be made under guidelines set down by the Ministry of Justice for time spent processing the request.
Complaints to the Ombudsman
If you do not agree with the council’s decision regarding your request, you can lodge a complaint with the "Ombudsman’s office". The Ombudsman will then investigate the complaint by requesting a full report on the request and will then advise all parties of the decision.
Find out more about the Waikato Regional Council's consultation with your community: