How to request official information

Under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) you can ask for the information we hold.

You can ask for:

  • access to any specified official information
  • reasons for decisions made about you
  • internal policies, principles, rules or guidelines

You must apply directly to the court to access court or tribunal documents.

In most cases we will give you the information you have asked for.

We take privacy seriously and under the Privacy Act 1993 there may be times when we are unable to give you the information you’ve asked for. This could include if you’re asking for information about another person or information that we have received in confidence. You can find more information about the Official Information Act on the Office of the Ombudsman website.

How to make a request

To make a request for information held by us email or post your request to:

Ministerial Services
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
Wellington 6140

When you can expect to hear from us

We will reply to your request within 20 days of receiving it. We will contact you if:

  • we need more time to reply to your request
  • there is going to be a charge to get the information you need
  • we are going to refuse to give you the information because it cannot be made available without substantial collation or research

If we propose a charge we will let you know the information that is available and the likely cost before we proceed with your request. The amount we charge will be in line with the Ministry of Justice Charging Guidelines (currently set at $38 per half hour after the first hour).

Our reply letter will explain any information that has been withheld and why.

We will be publishing some of our replies to OIA requests on our website under Official Information Act section. We will remove the requester's name, address and any other identifying information when publishing a reply to an OIA request on our website.

Requesting urgency

You may ask that your information request be treated as urgent. If so, you must give the reasons for seeking the information urgently. If you do request urgency, Corrections will assess whether it would be reasonable to give your request priority over other requests and our existing work, within our available resources. However, Corrections’ obligations in terms of the maximum time limits set out in the OIA to extend, transfer and make a decision on your request remain the same.

How to make a complaint

If you have any concerns about how we have handled your request please contact us in the first instance via email to or by post to:

Ministerial Services
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
Wellington 6140

You can also make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you are concerned about the way your OIA request has been treated or processed by Corrections. Your concerns may relate to us:

  • declining your request for information
  • breaching a statutory timeframe
  • extending a timeframe
  • charging you for information
  • putting conditions on the release of information.

The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate and review Corrections’ decision. The Ombudsman does not release the withheld information itself but may issue a recommendation to Corrections to release the information if the Ombudsman considers release appropriate.

The Ombudsman can be contacted via their website or by post to PO Box 10152, Wellington 6143.