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Right to Information—formerly Freedom of Information

On 1 July 2009  the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) and the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act), replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

These laws:

  • make more information held by the Government available
  • provide equal access to it across all sectors of the community
  • provide appropriate protection for individuals' privacy.

Where information isn't already available you can access information through  Right to Information (RTI) or Information Privacy (IP) applications. You can:

Search for information

Before applying for information, you should check first to see if it is  available online. You can search a department's website for:

If you cannot find what you are looking for, contact the relevant  department’s RTI officer who will advise if the information is accessible  through an administrative release process, or if you need to make an RTI or IP application  to access it.

Routinely released information

Departments publish routinely released information through what is called a  publication scheme. Information is organised for each agency into categories.

You can check for the information you are looking for from the relevant  agency's publication scheme:

RTI released information

Information released in response to RTI applications is also made available  by departments through disclosure logs. Disclosure logs publish information to  a wider public audience after it has been accessed by an applicant under the  RTI Act.

You can check for the information you are looking for from the relevant  agency's disclosure log:

Apply for information

You can make an RTI application for any information we hold. You can only  make an IP application for a document that has your own personal information in  it. Under the RTI and IP Acts, you can only apply to access or amend documents.  You can’t use this process to ask for general information or for answers to  your questions.

You can apply for documents:

If applying by fax, post, email or in person, use the relevant  agency’s contact details.

You will need to pay an application fee when you make an RTI application.  There is no application fee for making an IP application, however you will need  to give the department evidence of your identity (e.g. a certified copy of your  driver licence).

The department may not be able to give you access to all the documents you  request, as some documents are exempt from release. If a department refuses  access to the documents you’ve asked for, you may be able to dispute its  decision. See the Office  of the Information Commissioner for details.

Correct personal information

You may apply to amend documents containing personal information you believe  is inaccurate, misleading, out of date or incomplete. You need to have seen or  accessed the documents before you can apply to have them amended.

To apply to amend your personal information, download and  complete the application  form (PDF, 88KB) and submit it by post,  fax, email or in person. There is no application fee but you will need to  give the department evidence of your identity (e.g. a certified copy of your  driver licence).