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Yearly review of OIAs redacted or declined by the NZ government

This one probably needs a bit of explanation, more than most of my projects.

The short version is that here in New Zealand, we have the Official Information Act of 1982 or OIA for short.

It allows anyone in New Zealand, permanent or otherwise, to request almost any sort of information from members of government.

I once wrote a getting started guide that go through the background and all that here so I can recommend that for extra context.

Anyway, in saying this, there are certain “grounds” that can be invoked to redact or retain secrets such as those that might affect the privacy of a person or cause economic troubles for example.

That got me thinking. While the contents of redacted OIAs may not be accessible to the public, metadata about those OIAs can be just as interesting and so that’s what this project is about.

Each year, I make a request to the Prime Minister’s Office and ask for a list of OIAs that have been redacted or denied each year.

Admittedly, a few years I’ve forgotten to explicitly request the particular date so half of my data set are just time ranges but generally, the titles and grounds for denial are the most interesting.

At some point, I may file a request to backfill some data prior to when this list started but I haven’t had any plans to do much more than keep it updated yearly as of yet.

I’m due to file my next update sometime around August or September 2021

Request Date Subject Denied Under
09/02/2016 Detention and deporation of New Zealanders from Australia 6(a)
30/03/2016 Prime Minister’s recent visit to Sri Lanka 6(a)
06/04/2016 Communications regarding the 2016 US Presidential Election 6(a)
25/05/2016 Britain possibly leaving the European Union 6(a)
07/06/2016 Panama Papers 6(a)
16/08/2016 Decision to extend New Zealand’s training mission to Iraq 6(a)
2016 - 2017 Intelligence and advice to the NZ government related to the 9/11 event 6(a)
2016 - 2017 Record of OIAs from February 2017 6
2016 - 2017 Preparation for Trump Administration 6(a), 6(b)
2016 - 2017 NSS handbook examples of 1080 and domestic incident 6(a)
2016 - 2017 The steel industry and trade issues 6(a)
2016 - 2017 Meetings with Australian officials on social security 6(a), 6(b)
2016 - 2017 Interactions with United States Film Industry representatives 6(a)
13/04/2018 Advice relating to Labour Party summer schools 6(c)
18/04/2018 Weekly reports provided to the Minister for National Security and Intelligence 6(a), 6(b)(i)
20/04/2018 Correspondence with the Office of the President of the United States 6(a)
18/05/2018 Information including individual costs of gifts given during visit to Europe and the UK 6(a)
28/06/2018 Prime Minister's diary 6(a)
03/07/2018 Records of meeting with former President of the United States 6(a)
13/07/2018 Documents received as Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage, Minister for Child Poverty Reduction and Minister for National Security & Intelligence 6(b)(i)
24/07/2018 Records relating to visit to NZ by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 6(a), 6(c)
30/07/2018 Correspondence with the President of the United States 6(a)
11/09/2018 Inquiry into the appointment process for the Deputy Police Commissioner 6(c)
03/10/2018 Phone calls to heads of state 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to F-16 Lease Arrangement ERD Papers 14 March 2000 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to information held by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet concerning extending NZ Iraq deployment 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request about the Government's desire for greater transparency regarding military deployments 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request about the status of information that was subject to previous Official Information Act requests (that's me!) 6
2018 - 2019 Request relating to discussions referred to in published Aide Memoire about possible NZDF contribution to counter-ISIS coalition 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request for a Government report into the hijacking of Air New Zealand TE24 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to telecommunication issues associated with Huawei between 1 October 2017 and 30 September 2018 6(a), 6(b)(i)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to the Cyber Credentials Scheme 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to discussions referred to in published Aide Memoire about possible NZDF contribution to counter-ISIS coalition (follow up request) 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request for briefings provided to Attorney-General in relation to the Five Country Ministerial and Quintet Meeting 6(a), 6(b)
2018 - 2019 Request for information relating to white nationalism, and meetings with the Islamic Women's Council 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to DPMC policy advice and the Policy Project 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request on various matters relating to national security and counter-terrorism 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to advice provided to the Prime Minister on camps in Xinjiang, China 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request for the number of National Assessment Bureau Employees, the number who speak Mandarin and Cantonese and the number with a security clearance 6(a)
2018 - 2019 Request relating to the July inter-agency cyber meeting 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request relating to Moonshot CVE 6(a), 6(b)
2019 - 2020 Request relating to Y2K 6(a), 6(b)
2019 - 2020 Request for information relating to the Whakaari/White Island eruption on 9 December 2019 and the subsequent recovery operation 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request regarding Zoom conference clearance 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request for titles and dates of formal reports relating to COVID-19 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request relating to women's involvement in Radical-extremist groups 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request relating to Asian organised crime 6(a)
2019 - 2020 Request relating to the Trans-Tasman bubble 6(a)

Spotted something wrong with the table or just want a copy of the data?


Sources:

2016 - 2017: FOIA Sections S6 (a) and S (6) b (i) - fyi.govt.nz

2017 - 2018: Withheld / Rejected OIA Filings - fyi.govt.nz

2018 - 2019: FOIA Sections S6(a) and S(6)b(i) - Oct 2018 - Oct 2019

2019 - 2020: FOIA Sections S6(a) and S(6)b(i) - Nov 2019 - Aug 2020