OIA - Information and Records Management - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Official Information Act

The Official Information Act 1982 provides that official information held by a body such as the University should be made available, unless good reason exists for withholding such information.

The University of Canterbury is a body corporate constituted under the University of Canterbury Act 1961 and the Education Act 1989.

The Official Information Act is available online.

The University’s Official Information Act Policy establishes the processes for submitting OIA requests and the grounds for withholding information. The policy also articulates the balancing exercise that access decisions may be based on.

Requests for University official information are the responsibility of the Registrar and enquiries should be addressed to Information and Records Management Unit, University of Canterbury, in the first instance.

Requests should be made in writing.

If a request is refused the applicant will be told the reason for the refusal and the process to be followed in regard to lodging an appeal with the Ombudsman.

A request must be answered as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than 20 working days. A requestor may ask that the request be treated as urgent, but reasons should be provided for seeking urgency.

The time limit for answering requests can be extended in some cases, but the applicant will be told of the extension.

Most requests will be answered free of charge, but there is provision for the University to discuss with a requestor a possible charge in those situations where substantial research and collation must be undertaken before the information can be provided. Note: See also the University’s Privacy Policy (PDF, 317kb). There is no charge for providing readily accessible personal information.

The University will endeavour to provide the information in the form requested (unless to do so would impair efficient administration, be contrary to a legal duty, or prejudice the interests protected by withholding grounds). For example, the University could:

    • Provide reasonable opportunity to inspect the document
    • Provide a copy of the document
    • Make arrangements for person to hear or view any relevant sounds or images
    • Provide a transcript, excerpt, summary or oral information with respect to words recorded or in a document (shorthand or code)
    • Provide information with deletions or alterations as are necessary to preserve the interests protected by the withholding grounds.