Official Information Act requests

The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) is designed to make government activities more open and transparent to the public.  It has two very important roles:

  • to make official information more freely available to the public; and
  • it protects official information to the extent consistent with the public interest.

Information will be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it. The OIA sets out a number of reasons for which information may be withheld. These reasons include preservation of personal privacy and protection of information which has been received in confidence. However, even where there is good reason for withholding it, information will still be released if there are overriding considerations which mean it is in the public interest to release it.

More information about how the OIA operates can be found on the Office of the Ombudsman website.

Making an OIA request for information held by the Ministry of Health

If you wish to make a request for information held by the Ministry of Health please send an email to

We will respond to you as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request was received.  All requests are acknowledged and given a unique receipt number.

We publish a considerable amount of information on this website, so you may want to check the information you are after is not already publicly available before making a request. 

If you are after information from a DHB you will need to contact the DHB directly — get their contact details from our contact list.

Requests for personal information by an individual about themselves will be managed as a Privacy Act request.

Making a complaint

You can make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you have concerns regarding the way we treated or processed an OIA request. Those concerns can relate to the refusal to provide information, the breach of a statutory time frame, the decision to extend a time frame or impose a charge, or the imposition of conditions on the release of information.

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

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