Case Note 210778 [2010] NZ PrivCmr 5 : Woman complains about Council refusing her request for an email

A woman requested a copy of an email about her which had been sent by Council senior management to staff. The Council refused the request on the basis that the email could not be found.The woman made a complaint to our Office that the Council had refused her request.Principle 6Under principle 6 individuals have a right to request access to personal information held about them by an agency.An agency cannot refuse a principle 6 request unless it has a proper basis to do so under sections 27 – 29 of the Act.In this case the Council was seeking to withhold the information requested under section 29(2)(b). This section provides that an agency may refuse to release information where the information requested does not exist or cannot be found.For an agency to rely on section 29(2)(b), it must be able to demonstrate that it has taken reasonable steps to attempt to…

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