Official information

Our team offers practical advice about information held by government entities.  We help you navigate all aspects of official information - whether you're collecting, accessing, holding, requesting, or using it.


We are experts in the following legislation:
  • Official Information Act
  • Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act
  • Privacy Act and Codes
  • Public Records Act
  • Inquiries Act.
We support entities to comply with complex requirements

We regularly advise public sector agencies that hold official and personal information, as well as those wanting to access information held by others.

We know it can be daunting to meet the requirements of New Zealand's information laws – particularly given the amount of information held by both public and private sector organisations, which includes a lot of personal and sensitive information. We have the expertise to help you comply with these complex requirements.

We help government agencies navigate the necessary statutory processes when responding to difficult information requests.

We give advice to clients on how to respond to:

  • Official Information Act requests and requests for personal information under the Privacy Act (find out more: Privacy and cyber security)
  • Investigations by the Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner into decisions to refuse information requests
  • Inquiries under the Inquiries Act, including notices to produce information.

We also:

  • Draft and give advice on official information and personal information manuals and guidelines
  • Provide training to help clients understand and comply with their obligations
  • Help entities comply with their record-keeping obligations and give advice on the disposal of documents, in accordance with the Public Records Act.
We help people and entities make the most of their right to access information

If you work with central or local government, we know it is vital to have access to their information, including information about decision-making processes that are relevant to you . We support you to access the information you need, particularly through the Official Information Act and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

We help clients make requests for official and personal information, and to take complaints to the Ombudsman or Privacy Commissioner.

Work highlights

Compliance training

We have provided compliance training to public sector entities on their official information and Privacy Act obligations.

Disclosure of official information

We have assisted government agencies to make decisions on the disclosure of official information, including in situations involving significant media interest, controversial policy decisions, information about private companies, and large requests involving thousands of documents.

Ombudsman investigation

We advised a Crown entity on its response to an Ombudsman investigation into its decision to withhold official information, including sensitive employee and patient health information.

Information requests under the LGOIMA

We advised a private sector client on the scope of information held by a local government agency that could be requested under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.

Inquiries Act 2013

We have advised the Ministry of Health on its response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, including managing large responses to Notices to Produce under the Inquiries Act 2013 and preparation for Commission hearings, and also assisted District Health Boards in their response to Notices to Produce.

Public Records Act 2005

We advised a District Health Board on its obligations under the Public Records Act 2005 and the associated general disposal authorities.

Our team

Hamish Kynaston

Partner, Wellington

Hamish specialises in employment relations, litigation, health law, health and safety, and education…

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Natasha Wilson

Partner, Wellington

Natasha is a partner in our public law team in Wellington, and has extensive experience in the health, education, and science and…

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Olly Peers

Partner, Christchurch

Olly specialises in litigation and dispute resolution. Olly's experience and areas of interest include company law, contract law…

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Peter Chemis

Partner, Wellington

Peter specialises in employment law, industrial relations and related areas, and leads Buddle Findlay’s national employment team…

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Sherridan Cook

Partner, Auckland
Board of Management

Sherridan specialises in advocacy and commercial litigation, with considerable expertise and experience in…

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Susie Kilty

Partner, Wellington

Susie specialises in competition, fair trading, overseas investment consents and economic regulation, particularly of infrastructure in…

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