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New Zealand and Australia unite for Right to Know

New Zealand and Australia unite for Right to Know

21 September 2017 - New Zealand’s Office of the Ombudsman and Australia’s Information Access Commissioners will mark International Right to Know Day on 28 September with live-streamed panel discussions from both countries.

In New Zealand, Ombudsman Leo Donnelly will join a PrivacyLive panel discussion on New Zealanders’ right to access information about themselves and information that may affect them.

New Zealand’s Deputy Ombudsman Bridget Hewson will join her Australian counterparts to mark Right to Know Day in Brisbane, where journalist Kerry O’Brien will deliver the annual Solomon Lecture, marking 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption in Queensland.

Right to Know Day is an annual international event that promotes the rights of citizens to access information. Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier and Australia’s Information Access Commissioners have released the following joint statement in recognition of this year’s Right to Know Day.

A citizen’s right to access government-held information and data, participate in government decision making, and have transparency in how decisions are made is central to any effective democracy.

Right to Know Day is an opportunity for all Australians and New Zealanders to reflect on their access rights and the benefits of a more open, transparent and accountable government. It is also a reminder to government that greater access to government information and data can deliver better public services, strengthen economic outcomes and build public trust and confidence in the public sector.

We invite you to join us in celebrating Right to Know Day on 28 September 2017.

Sven Bluemmel, Information Commissioner, Western Australia

Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman, New Zealand

Richard Connock, Ombudsman, Tasmania

Wayne Lines, Ombudsman, South Australia

Brenda Monaghan, Information Commissioner, Northern Territory

Timothy Pilgrim, Australian Information Commissioner

Rachael Rangihaeata, Information Commissioner, Queensland

Elizabeth Tydd, Information Commissioner, New South Wales

Sally Winton, Acting Public Access Deputy Commissioner, Victoria

Solomon Lecture 2017, 11am-1pm NZT 28 September, Brisbane

This year, Queensland’s annual Solomon Lecture will be the centrepiece of the Right to Know campaign. The Lecture will be live-streamed on Right to Know Day on 28 September 2017.

Mr Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most distinguished and respected journalists, will deliver this year’s lecture and draw on the 30th anniversary of the Fitzgerald Inquiry in Queensland as an opportunity to revisit some of the lessons learnt over the past three decades around open government, including the media’s role.

Following the Lecture will be a panel discussion featuring Channel 7’s Freedom of Information Editor, Alison Sandy, Queensland University of Technology Vice Chancellor Peter Coaldrake AO and Dr David Solomon AM. Journalist Madonna King will lead the panel discussion.

You can watch the lecture live online (11am NZ time) at

PrivacyLive 2017, 1pm-2pm 28 September, Wellington

Ombudsman Leo Donnelly, former Assistant Privacy Commissioner Katrine Evans, and Bryce Edwards from Transparency International will take part in a panel discussion co-hosted with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner about New Zealanders’ legal rights to access personal information about themselves.

PrivacyLive will take place from 1pm to 2pm at the Mokpuna Room, Te Wharewaka o Poneke Function Centre. You can register here: The panel will also be live streamed on Periscope and available afterward on YouTube.


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