Legislation that guides how we respond
Corrections are guided in how we can respond to media queries by The Privacy Act 1993, The Official Information Act 1982 and the Coroner's Act 2006.
The Privacy Act 1993
The Privacy Act governs requests made by individuals for access to information held by Corrections about themselves.
The privacy officer
We have a privacy officer who is responsible for coordinating Privacy Act requests from individuals and agents acting on their behalf.
The Official Information Act 1982
The Official Information Act (OIA) applies to certain types of requests for personal information.
More information is available from the Ministry of Justice, who are responsible for administering the Act.
If you want to know how to lodge an OIA request with Corrections see Make a request.
Personal information held by us
We collect and hold information on our employees and on the offenders we work with.
Personal information held by us about individuals (natural persons) will not be disclosed to others (including the staff of other government departments) unless:
- this is authorised or required by the Privacy Act 1993.
For example, in response to a request by the person about their own information or pursuant to Schedule 5 of the Privacy Act.
- this is authorised by some other legislation.
For example, in response to a request under the Official Information Act 1982.
- this is required by some other legislation.
For example, when an offender starts home detention, section 54(2) of the Parole Act 2002 requires us to advise the Police of the date on which home detention starts, the detention conditions that apply to that offender, and the offender’s statutory release date.
- the disclosure is covered by one of the exceptions to the Information Privacy Principles (IPP) set out in the Privacy Act 1993.
For example, the exception set out in IPP 11 (e)(i). This allows an agency to disclose personal information to another agency if it believes, on reasonable grounds, that the disclosure is necessary to “avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences”.
The Coroners Act 2006
The Coroners Act identifies deaths, including deaths in custody, that must be reported to a coroner and the process for reporting and investigating those deaths.
Section 71 of the Coroners Act 2006, prevents Corrections from releasing information relating to a death in custody until the coroner has completed an inquiry into the death.