The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has undertaken an investigation after a complaint was made regarding heavy redactions to personal information requested from Oranga Tamariki.

A mother requested information about her three children who were taken into care by the agency. Under the Privacy Act, the mother has the right to access personal information held about her.

One of the reasons that Oranga Tamariki redacted the information was that publication of identifying information about individuals under the age of 18, and which relate to Family Court proceedings, is prohibited without the permission of the Family Court.

The Privacy Commissioner decided that releasing the information under the Privacy Act would not constitute a publication and that the information requested was not related to the proceedings. Oranga Tamariki was therefore not justified in withholding the information.

Upon provision of the Privacy Commissioner’s findings, Oranga Tamariki disclosed further information to the mother.

Alan Knowsley
Privacy Lawyer