Information act to cover court aspects

Last updated 06:39 05/02/2013

Relevant offers


Possible Victoria Cross for firefight which killed two Kiwi soldiers Labour leader Andrew Little dumps Nanaia Mahuta, David Cunliffe in reshuffle Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae undergoes heart surgery Trans-Tasman roll call - the best and worst of the 2015 political year High flying costs New Zealand tax payers Moroney rewarded for ACC, parental leave work South Canterbury MPs slide down Trans Tasman rankings Andrew Little's canny reshuffle rewards effort, softens blow for losers Andrew Little to unveil Labour's shadow Cabinet Prime Minister John Key defends 'green' credentials ahead of major summit

The Official Information Act will be extended to cover some aspects of how the courts work, but the Government has ignored calls for it to also cover Parliament.

It is also set to bring in new grounds for blocking the release of commercial information in response to recommendations from the Law Commission.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said yesterday the Government planned to press ahead with some of its key recommendations. They included extending the freedom of information law to the administrative functions of the courts, including information about expenditure, resources and statistical information about cases. There would also be new protections for commercial information and moves to clarify how the legislation applied to commercially sensitive information.

The Law Commission recommended a new withholding ground to protect competitive positions and financial interests in addition to the existing commercial withholding ground.

Ms Collins said there would also be new protections for third-party information and other issues related to the Privacy Act.

But Green spokeswoman Holly Walker said the Government's response was disappointing.

"The Law Commission recommended a substantive review and possible rewrite of the act, but instead the Government is tinkering around the edges . . . picking out the recommendations that suit it, like creating new ways of withholding information."

It was ignoring recommendations it did not like, including extending the act to cover Parliament.

The commission reviewed the Official Information Act and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. It found the legislation's underlying principles were sound and fundamentally working well, Ms Collins said.

The Government would support improved education and guidance from the Ombudsman's Office - the independent authority that advises government agencies and acts as a watchdog over the public's right to receive information.

Ms Collins said the Government would review the acts' operation "and progress any remaining recommendations as opportunities arise and priorities allow".

"The Government is committed to openness and transparency, streamlining processes and reducing red tape." 

Ad Feedback

- Waikato Times


Special offers
Opinion poll

Where do you stand on political coat-tail riding?

If it gets marginalised voices into Parliament, I'm for it.

I'm against it - if you don't get the votes, you shouldn't be there.

It's just part of the political game.

Vote Result

Related story: Voters reject riding on the coat-tails

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content