Resources and publications
Ngā rauemi me ngā tānga
Search guides, case notes, opinions, reports and other information. Resources and publications can also be searched by date and other options.
Use the search bar to make your search. Then use the filters to narrow down the results by resource type or topic.
More information about the resource categories on this page
Commonly used guides include:
- The OIA for Ministers and agencies
- The LGOIMA for local government agencies
- Making official information requests: a guide for requesters
Detailed guidance on the official information legislation and aspects of good administrative practice.
We also have guidance on disability rights and protected disclosures.
Case notes and opinions
Case notes are a short case summary, often demonstrating an aspect of a case.
An Ombudsman's Opinion is published where there is public interest in showing the full details of a case.
Reports include OPCAT, disability rights, official information practice and systemic investigation.
Contains our media releases, newsletters, pamphlets, speeches and fact sheets. Fact sheets are published in multiple language and accessible formats.
This includes our annual reports and strategic intentions.
Projects, reference and data
This includes our official information complaints data, updates on investigations and other projects, and submissions by the Ombudsman.
View all projects, reference and data
Template letters and work sheets
These template letters and work sheets can be used by agencies to help respond to official information requests.
962 Resources Show all
Omission by school board to follow due process before excluding student for gross misconductCase notesA student was suspended by the principal on the basis of ‘gross misconduct’ after bringing alcohol to school and sharing it with another student. The Chief Ombudsman investigated whether the board followed a reasonable process in relation to the suspension hearing, and whether the decision to exclude the student was sound.
Exercise of discretion to refuse request for personal information not unreasonableCase notesA complainant made a request for information about themselves that they believed had been provided to Inland Revenue (IR) by a third party. IR provided a summary of the information it had received but refused to provide a full copy of the information, or details of who provided it.
Determination of ineligibility for publicly funded healthcare was wrongCase notesComplaint about a determination by the Ministry of Health that a person was ineligible for publicly funded healthcare as they did not meet the time criteria prescribed in the Health and Disability Services Direction 2011.
Overseas borrower liable for student loan debt when IR unable to contact themCase notesThe Chief Ombudsman received a complaint from an overseas borrower about the way the Inland Revenue Department (IR) administered their student loan and the addition of interest and penalties that they were required to pay.
Omission by school board to consider behavioural support prior to exclusion of studentCase notesA School Board excluded a student for ‘continual disobedience’ under the Education and Training Act 2020. The Chief Ombudsman found the Board failed to properly examine the level of support offered to the student before excluding them.
Inadequate record-keeping and unreasonable decisions by school board: Student disciplineCase notesInvestigations into decisions of Bethlehem College School Board to exclude a students on the basis of ‘gross misconduct’.
Lack of review mechanism for community participation services funding unreasonableCase notesThe Chief Ombudsman received a complaint about the level of Community Participation Services provided by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
Ministerial notifications and the obligation to communicate decisions ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’Case notesComplaint to the Ombudsman, raising Police’s obligations to communicate a decision to them ‘as soon as reasonably practicable'.
Requests for information relating to the COVID-19 vaccination programmeCase notesA requester sought a broad range of clinical information provided to Medsafe by the pharmaceutical companies that were developing the COVID-19 vaccine, including safety trial data.
Delay in responding to request for information about transferrals between hospitalsCase notesOn 18 February 2021, the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) received a request for official information, and transferred it to the Southern District Health Board. On 28 September 2021, the requester emailed the Board about the lack of response to her request, and made a complaint to the Ombudsman.
Requests for information deemed vexatious and not in good faith due to offensive languageCase notesA complainant made a number of information requests to Inland Revenue Department for information on the same subject. IR refused four of these requests because it considered each request ‘to be offensive and an abuse of the right to access official Information’.
Request for data gathered by Inland Revenue contractorCase notesThe Ombudsman formed the opinion that it was unreasonable for IR to rely on sections 18(e) and 18(c)(i) of the OIA in this case.
Council not entitled to withhold internal workshop presentationCase notesIn September 2020, a workshop was held to discuss short-listed wastewater treatment options. No decisions about the options were made. A journalist requested a copy of the information presented at the workshop.
Analyses of electronic commerce chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership AgreementCase notesRequest to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for analyses of electronic commerce chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and other trade negotiations.
Failure of Immigration New Zealand to provide interpreter at borderCase notesIn March 2016, an Immigration New Zealand (INZ) officer interviewed the complainant upon their arrival to New Zealand. The complainant’s first language is Hindi and they speak relatively limited English. The interview was conducted in English and was video-recorded.
Unreasonable decision of Board of Trustees to trespass student without opportunity to commentCase notesThe trespass notice meant the student was unable to travel on the school bus, as the bus passed through the school’s bus bay on the way to the student’s own school. The family considered that the Board did not adequately consider the implications and complained to the Chief Ombudsman.
Requests to Ministry of Health and ESR for Covid-19 cycle threshold valuesCase notesInformation requested initially refused for privacy reasons. The agencies subsequently focused on section 9(2)(c) of the OIA (to avoid prejudice to public health or safety measures).
Joint Council Committees decision to exclude public from meeting not justifiedCase notesPublic excluded from meeting under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 – Ombudsman found that application of section 48(1) not justified – the likelihood of harm to the Councils’ commercial operations and
Unreasonable advice about decision to exclude public: Licensing TrustCase notesPublic excluded from meeting under section 48(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 – Ombudsman found that Trust acted unreasonably — no clear basis for advice provided by Chief Executive that public should be exclude
Delay in responding to a request for information about cannabis-related medicinesCase notesFailure by the Ministry of Health to make and communicate a decision on a request for official information within extended time limit— contrary to law— decision to extend the time limit also unreasonable
Requests for vaccine pricing and contracted delivery schedulesCase notesRequest for information about vaccine pricing and delivery schedules – information subject to an obligation of confidence in terms of section 9(2)(ba)(ii) – the interest in withholding the information not outweighed by the public interest in release.
Unreasonable extension of time limit for internal consultationsCase notesRequest for information about OIA statistics—extension to time limit for responding to request – notified on basis of need to undertake consultations—internal review and sign-out process is part of making a decision and not consultation for the purpose of s15A – decision to extend unreasonable
Request for information concerning increase in number of cochlear implantsCase notesSection 9(2)(f)(iv) OIA applied to costing information and detailed analysis regarding unsuccessful Budget 2020 bid which had been resubmitted for consideration through the 2021 Budget process – small amount of high level information about the exist
Misunderstanding that led to decision to refuse to issue a Code Compliance CertificateCase notesDecision by the Council to decline to issue a Code Compliance Certificate for solid fuel heater – Ombudsman inquiries with the Council resulted in the decision being reversed, the Council obtaining the necessary outstanding document from the contractors, and an apology being given to the complainant – complaint resolved without need for formal investigation
Decisions to decline MIQ medical needs exemptions were not unreasonableCase notesThe Chief Ombudsman investigated two complaints in late 2020 about the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s decisions to decline the complainants’ requests for medical needs exemptions from Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) requirement
Request for Ministry of Health Legal OpinionCase notesSection 9(2)(h) applied to a Health Legal opinion relied on by Health and Disability Ethics Committee when making its decision to decline a research study application—privilege held by the Crown—no implied waiver although finely balanced—strong publ
Unreasonable decisions by INZ on Post-Study work visa applicationsCase notesImmigration New Zealand applied an interpretation of immigration instructions not reflected in guidance to applicants - Post-Study work visa – open was granted for one year instead of three – INZ relied on an amendment circular to preclude eligibili
Board of Trustees decision to expel student on basis of gross misconduct not justifiedCase notesStudent expelled after isolated incident – Ombudsman found that the family were not given the full opportunity to respond to the allegations, and the Board’s minutes did not show how the decision was arrived at – Ombudsman not convinced that the inc
Delay in responding to request for certain briefingsCase notesFailure by the Minister for Courts to make and communicate his decision on a request for official information within extended time limit— contrary to law
New case note – Complaints about Immigration New ZealandCase notesThe Chief Ombudsman has issued a case note which highlights a number of complaints about Immigration New Zealand’s decision-making on Skilled Migrant Category residence visa applications and the Employment Visa Escalation Scheme.
Unreasonable actions throughout dealings with custodial caregiverCase notesUse of incorrect, unverified information—failure to perform due diligence before removing mokopuna from grandmother—inadequate review of case, and inadequate response to review—failure to work with complainant in a way that met her needs as w
Early resolution of a toll fee imposed on previous vehicle ownerCase notesToll fee charged by Waka Kotahi to a previous vehicle owner who had left the country — Ombudsman inquiries with Waka Kotahi resulted in the toll fee being waived —complaint resolved without need for formal investigation