Official Information Act Requests

Questions and answers about OIAs

What is the Official Information Act (OIA)?

The Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) allows New Zealanders to have access to official information held by governments and government agencies. This promotes openness and transparency, and enables New Zealanders’ participation in government.

Before you make an OIA request

We encourage you to check out the sources of information below, as you may find the information you need is already publicly available:

Ministry of Defence publications
Ministry of Defence Select Committee submissions
Chief executive disclosure of expenses 
Defence Capability projects 
Government Electronic Tenders Service (GETS)

Information on service personnel and medal records is held by the New Zealand Defence Force. For information on these subjects go to New Zealand Defence Force personnel and medal records.

How to make a request

Requests should include your name, your preferred postal or email address, and specific details of the information you want.

Go to the Contact Us page to make an OIA request to us online, or post your request to:

Ministry of Defence 
PO Box 12703
Molesworth Street
Wellington 6144
New Zealand

How long will it take?

We will respond to your request no later than 20 working days after we receive it. For large requests or those requiring consultation, we may extend the time limit under section 14 of the Official Information Act. If this happens for any particular reason, we will let you know and give you a specific due date.

If we believe another agency holds the information you have requested, we will transfer your request to them and let you know no later than 10 working days after receiving the request.

Withholding information under the OIA

We may need to withhold information for specific reasons set out in the Official Information Act. If this occurs, we will explain the reasons why.

Due to the nature of our work, it is sometimes necessary to withhold information to protect national security interests or our defence relationships with other countries.

For more information, please refer to sections 6, 9, and 18 of the Official Information Act.


If you are unhappy with our response, please contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve the issue. You have the right to seek a review of the response by the Ombudsman.

More information

Official Information Act 1982

Directory of Official Information - this directory contains contact details for all government organisations covered by the Official Information Act.

Ombudsman’s Official Information Act Guides - guidance documents relating to the OIA.

Charging Guidelines for Official Information Act requests