Official Information Request
Stratford District Council is committed to promoting openness and transparency in the work we undertake.
Part of this commitment includes the release of information where that information is in the interest of the public. If you can’t find the information you are looking for on our website and it is information held by Council you can ask us for it.
All requests for information are generally considered to be requests for official information made under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) or requests for personal information made under the Privacy Act 1993 (though you do not need to say that you are making a request under an Act).
Any individual, group or organisation can request information held by Stratford District Council.
Types of information requests we receive:
- A LGOIMA request - This is a request for official information that is held by Council.
When we receive your request we will acknowledge that we have received it. You can then expect to receive a decision on your request within 20 working days, unless this timeframe is extended under the LGOIMA.
- A personal information request - This is a request to view and/or correct any information we hold about you under the Privacy Act. We aim to respond to these requests as soon as practicable and within five working days.
- A property file request – This is a request for information that Council holds on a property. We understand these requests can be urgent and aim to respond to these within 48 hours.
- Community archives request – This can include information on previous community groups, schools, events that occurred in the Stratford district and are held in our community archives. We aim to respond to these requests as soon as practicable.
You can request information from Council through our normal channels, including email, phone, in person or via the post.
Phone: 06 765 6099
In person: Visit Council’s service centre at 61-63 Miranda Street, Stratford
Post: PO Box 320, Stratford
Be prepared when requesting information
No matter how you ask Council, it’s important to include the below information with your request:
- Your name
- Your email
- Your preferred contact number
- Organisation (if relevant)
- Detailed description of the request
- Send us documents attached to an email/letter if required.
The details of an Official Information Request, including the name of the individual/organisation requesting the information, may be made publicly available or used for reporting purposes. We will not disclose the contact details of the requester.
If you do not want your name disclosed, please contact our Privacy Officer on 06 765 6099 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For official information requests you can expect to receive a decision on your request within 20 working days, unless this timeframe is extended under the LGOIMA.
If your request is complex, involves a large amount of research and collation, or requires us to consult with several other parties, it may take additional time to collate the information and provide a response. If we need to do this, we will
- let you know within the original 20 working days;
- explain why additional time is required;
- tell you how much extra time is required and if we will charge for covering our costs to collate the requested information;
- let you know that you have a right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman (in relation to an official information request) or the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (in relation to a personal information request) about our decision.
If the information requested is held by another organisation, we may transfer your request to that agency. If we transfer your request, we will let you know within 10 working days of receiving your request.
Timeframes for a property file or community archive request are much shorter and a Council officer will confirm when you can expect to hear from us at the time of request.
Where necessary, information may be withheld for specific reasons. If this occurs, we will explain the reason why.
Specific reasons for withholding information are set out in the LGOIMA. These include to:
- protect peoples' privacy
- maintain legal professional privilege
- enable the Council to carry out its commercial activities without prejudice
- protect the safety of any person
- protect confidential or commercially sensitive information
- protect public health or safety
In regard to releasing information requested under the Privacy Act, Council will assess any request in accordance with the Privacy Principles (the principles are held within the Privacy Act 1993).
Specific reasons for withholding information are set out in the Privacy Act. However these rarely need to be applied.
Generally, there will be no charge for your request. Occasionally however, where appropriate and in accordance with the LGOIMA, a charge may be applied to your request for official information. (Council is not permitted to apply a charge to a request for personal information under the Privacy Act.)
If we propose to apply a charge to a request for official information, we will let you know the cost of your request before we begin collating the information. You can then decide to proceed, withdraw or refine your request.
Charges for requests for official information follow the charging guidelines of the Ministry of Justice and can be found in Council’s current Fees and Charges schedule.
If you do decide to proceed with a charge for information, Council will require full payment prior to the provision of information.
Official information requests: If you are unhappy with a decision to withhold information under the LGOIMA, to charge you a fee, to extend the timeframe on a request, or you have concerns about how we have dealt with your request, you are able to have the decision reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsman. The Office of the Ombudsman can be contacted by:
Post: PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143
Phone: 0800 802 602
Personal information requests: If you require a review of a decision made by Council pursuant to the Privacy Act you can contact Council’s Privacy Officer in the first instance on email@example.com or alternatively seek assistance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. The contact details are:
Submit an online enquiry: https://www.privacy.org.nz/about-us/contact/enquir...
Post: PO Box 10 094, The Terrace, Wellington 6143
Phone: 0800 803 909 (Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm)