Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Christchurch Mosque Attacks Inquiry Statement

The Royal Commission has clarified how information from agencies is to be handled as it relates both to the inquiry and requests made under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).

Further amended minute 2 makes it clear that orders made under section 15 of the Inquiries Act 2013 should not limit reasonable access to information held by agencies (which is also of interest to the Royal Commission).

“It is essential the Royal Commission is able to conduct its inquiries confidentially to get to the bottom of vital questions, so we can make robust findings,” says Commissioner Sir William Young. “However, it is clear that a significant amount of information provided to the Royal Commission could be publicly released without compromising this inquiry.”

When New Zealanders request information under the OIA, from agencies that the Royal Commission is engaging with, agencies are expected to follow their usual process, except in certain cases.

“The section 15 Orders apply only where the request is for material created specifically in response to a Royal Commission request, or for the correspondence between the agency and the Royal Commission,” says Royal Commission Member Jacqui Caine.

Section 15 Orders do not prevent coincidental publication of pre-existing material held by state sector agencies, even if that material has been sent to the Royal Commission as part of an agency response.

“For example,” says Sir William, “if an agency receives an OIA request for a Cabinet paper, which may have formed part of a package of evidence provided to the Royal Commission, the agency should consider its release under the Official Information Act, as the document was not specifically created for the Inquiry.”

“My expectation is that agencies will try to publish or grant public access to as much information as possible, as they normally would within the application of the OIA,” says Sir William.

Agencies may consult with the Royal Commission if there is any uncertainty about the application of section 15 orders.

The further amended minute 2 also clarifies the Royal Commission’s approach to gathering evidence and submissions from 218 agencies in the wider State sector. By including all State sector agencies in the inquiry, the Royal Commission is able to take a robust approach to its work.

This amendment now categorises those agencies as either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2. Schedule 1 agencies have evidence and information that may give rise to national security and other considerations due to the nature of their work and the information they hold. Schedule 2 agencies may assess that the information presented to the Royal Commission does not require continuing suppression and the Royal Commission may allow that agency to publish or grant public access to some or all of that information.

The Royal Commission remains committed to recommending as much information as possible is publicly released after it has delivered its report.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>


PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>


PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels