Dear Nathan Guy

I sent this on Friday;

Dear Mr Guy,

This request for information is made under the Official Information Act. I would appreciate your acknowledging receipt of the request, providing the date on which the request was received by your office, the date on which you believe the 20 working day rule expires and the date on which you believe it is reasonably practicable for you to supply the information requested.

Purpose of Request

My request relates to the implementation and operation of the Department of Internal Affairs Internet Filter. The purpose of this request is to identify whether or not the DIA has started operation of the internet filter, whether the department obtained a legal opinion as to whether this filter breaches New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act 1990 and what the opinion is, and what sites the Department of Internal Affairs is filtering and the process they determined that the sites should be filtered.

Public Interest in Information

Due to the current high level of media interest with public access and the rights contained in the NZBORA 1990 concerns have been raised around the operation, and the legality of the internet filter. Secondly in a democracy it is considered that we should be increasing freedoms not reducing them, especially access to information. For these reasons, it is clearly in the public interest that the information I request be made publicly available, noting that one of the purposes of the Official Information Act is to “promote the accountability of Ministers of the Crown and officials” and thereby “promote the good government of New Zealand”.


My request is therefore for:

a)     Has the DIA Internet filter begun operation in ISP’s anywhere in New Zealand, if so which ISP’s have implemented the filter and on what dates?

b) What is the nature of information collected and when collected how is it reported to the DIA?

c) Has the department sought or obtained a legal opinion from any source regarding their right to implement the Internet Filter, if so what was the advice in full, especially noting the implementation as being compatible with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990?

d)     What are the sites contained within the filter that are banned, why were they banned and what process did the department go through to ensure that no other site legally able to be seen was not inadvertently caught by the filter?

e) In what way does the department consider that they are exempt from the NZBORA 1990, especially Part 2 section 13, Part 2 section 14, Part 2, section 17, Part 2 section 21?

e)    Any correspondence, including letters, faxes, emails, or other physical or electronic documents, and drafts of same, between DIA and the Attorney-General’s Office, the Solicitor-Generals Office, Crown Law or any other legal firm/partnership or Barrister Sole or Barrister and Solicitor regarding the implementation and deployment of the internet filter between 1 January 2009 and 1 March 2010


I look forward to both your acknowledgment letter and to the prompt supply of the information.

Kind Regards

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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