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Contents (2009 - 52)
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Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52
Current version for 1 July 2017 to date (accessed 23 September 2017 at 17:19)
Part 1
Part 1 Preliminary
1   Name of Act
This Act is the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
2   Commencement
This Act commences on a day or days to be appointed by proclamation.
3   Object of Act
(1)  In order to maintain and advance a system of responsible and representative democratic Government that is open, accountable, fair and effective, the object of this Act is to open government information to the public by:
(a)  authorising and encouraging the proactive public release of government information by agencies, and
(b)  giving members of the public an enforceable right to access government information, and
(c)  providing that access to government information is restricted only when there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
(2)  It is the intention of Parliament:
(a)  that this Act be interpreted and applied so as to further the object of this Act, and
(b)  that the discretions conferred by this Act be exercised, as far as possible, so as to facilitate and encourage, promptly and at the lowest reasonable cost, access to government information.
4   Interpretation
(1) Key definitions In this Act:
access application means an application for access to government information under Part 4 that is a valid access application under that Part.
agency means any of the following:
(a)  a Public Service agency,
(b)  a Minister (including a person employed by a Minister under Part 2 of the Members of Parliament Staff Act 2013),
(c)  a public authority,
(d)  a public office,
(e)  a local authority,
(f)  a court,
(g)  a person or entity that is an agency pursuant to regulations under clause 5 of Schedule 4.
Schedule 4 contains definitions of Public Service agency, public authority, local authority, public office and court. The Information Commissioner publishes a list of agencies and their contact details.
government information means information contained in a record held by an agency.
(2) Other interpretative provisions Expressions used in this Act that are defined in Schedule 4 have the meanings set out in that Schedule.