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Requests for official information

This page explains how to make a request for official information, expected response times and any applicable fees and charges.

Under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) you may request information held by the Council. Any request for official information is a request made under LGOIMA, whether it is made verbally or in writing. The person requesting information does not have to state that it is an official information request for LGOIMA to apply.

We do recommend that you make your request in writing so we understand exactly what you are asking for. Sometimes Council staff may contact you to clarify the request.

The Office of the Ombudsman has produced a helpful PDF guide below for those making requests for information:

If you are making your request in writing, please address it to:
The Chief Executive, Westland District Council, Private Bag 704, Hokitika 7842

You can also email lgoima@westlanddc.govt.nz 

The Council must respond to requests as soon as reasonably practicable and no later than 20 working days. In most instances, staff will try to get the information out to you as soon as possible.

Urgent requests can be made but the reasons for making an urgent request must be specified.

The first hour of staff costs and first 20 black and white pages of information is free. The Council may charge for official information in accordance with the Fees and Charges schedule in Council’s Long Term Plan. Under clause 13(4) of LGOIMA, Council can request the amounts due are paid in advance of the release of information requested.

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) are covered by section 44A of LGOIMA and are subject to a separate timeframe and charging regime.

Before sending your request, you can check if the information you require has previously been released. Previous LGOIMA responses are available from November 2019 onwards.

If your request relates to Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), then you need to address your request to:

Joanne Conroy
Chairman, Westland Holdings
Email: admin@westlandholdings.co.nz 

Melanie Anderson
Chief Executive, Destination Westland
Email: ceo@destinationwestland.co.nz 

Peter Cuff
Chairman, Westroads Limited
Email: peter@cuffs.co.nz 

Further information on Council’s CCOs is available on our Council Controlled Organisations page.

Grounds for withholding information

The major reasons for withholding requests for information made under the Local Government Offiial Information and Meetings Act 1987 are detailed below.

  • Making the info available would be contrary to an enactment or constitute contempt of Court or Parliament.
  • The information requested is or will soon be publicly available.
  • The information requested does not exist or cannot be found.
  • The information requested cannot be made available without substantial collation or research.
  • That the information requested is not held by Council and we are not aware of another local authority or government organisation that might hold the information that we could transfer the request to.
  • The request is frivolous and vexatious or for trivial information.

Making the information available would be likely to:

  • Prejudice the maintenance of the law including the prevention, investigation and detection of offences and the right to a fair trial; or
  • Endanger the safety of any person.

Council is required to assess whether each of the following withholding reasons is outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable in the public interest to make the information available.

Withholding the information is necessary to:

  • Protect the privacy of natural persons;
  • Protect information where the making available would disclose a trade secret or would be likely unreasonably to prejudice the commercial position of a person;
  • Avoid serious offence to tikanga Māori or avoid disclosure of the location of a waahi tapu (relates to Resource Management Act 1991 matters);
  • Protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence or which a person has been or could be compelled to provide under the authority of any enactment;
  • Avoid prejudice to measures protecting public health and safety;
  • Avoid prejudice to measures that prevent or mitigate material loss to members of the public;
  • Maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions by or between members, officers or employees of Council or to protect them from improper pressure or harassment;
  • Maintain legal professional privilege;
  • Enable Council to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, commercial activities;
  • Enable Council to carry out, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations);
  • To prevent the disclosure or use of official information for improper gain or improper advantage.

Note: If a non natural person (such as a company or organisation) makes a request for its personal information, it has a right to access that information (under section 23) unless one of the grounds for refusal in section 26 apply.