Official Information Act requests and accessing our information

This page will help you find out where to access the public information we hold and how to ask for other information from us, including making an OIA request.

You can find our information in many places: our website, reports, online databases, our media releases and social media posts.

If there is something you want to know – and if you can’t find what you are looking for in the information we have online – you can contact us to ask for information we may not have published.

This is generally known as an “OIA request” because the right to ask government agencies for their information is set out in the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).

How to ask for information from us

There are a number of ways you can ask us for information:

  • email your request to
  • send a letter to: the OIA team, Environmental Protection Authority, Private Bag 63002, Wellington, 6140
  • deliver a written request in person to our reception at Level 10, Grant Thornton House, 215 Lambton Quay, Wellington
  • call us on 04 916 2426.

You can ask us for:

  • written documents and reports
  • our internal and external correspondence, such as emails
  • video and audio recordings
  • maps and photographs
  • other information, such as databases.

What happens once we receive your request

We will confirm that we have received your request, and will send a response within 20 working days.

We will find out if we hold the information you are after. If we don’t, but we know the organisation that does, we will send your request there.

If you’re after a lot of information, or if we need to talk to other organisations, we may need more time to reply to you. If this is the case, we will always let you know when we expect to reply. (Note: over the Christmas holiday period, we may take a little longer to reply.)

OIA Charging Policy

Section 15(1A) of the OIA provides the EPA may charge for providing information. The EPA will not generally charge for providing information. However, we may charge for information, subject to the approval of the Chief Executive, when the resource required to respond to an information request would significantly disrupt the EPA's normal functions.

If we propose to charge for providing information, we will advise the requester in advance, provide an indication of the work involved and an indication of charges, and if there is a likelihood we may withhold information.

Any charges the EPA determines will be reasonable, and use the hourly rates and be consistent with the recommendations and guidelines on charging made by the Ombudsman and the Ministry of Justice. If a large amount of information is requested, a deposit or part-payment may be sought.

Information that we cannot or will not release

Every now and then we refuse a request, and sometimes we withhold information, but we always explain why. If your request is for something that is already available online, we will tell you where to find it. There are other cases where we might withhold part of the information or decline your request if, for example:

  • we are concerned about the privacy of a person that is mentioned in a document
  • the information might be commercially sensitive
  • releasing the information might prevent us from doing our jobs of providing free and frank advice to ministers.

If you want to know more about why we might refuse parts of a request, check out sections 6, 9 and 18 of the OIA.

Read the Official Information Act - New Zealand legislation website

Tips for making an OIA request

  1. Give us as much detail as you can about your request. You don’t have to explain why you want the information, but sometimes giving us some context or a more detailed description helps us to find what you want faster and easier.
  2. If you are asking for a particular document, name it or give us a description with some details, such as the author, date or topic.
  3. If there are certain types of information you’re not interested in (e.g. draft documents, emails), let us know.
    If you are looking for information about a certain topic over a period of time, be specific about the timeframe.
  4. Check whether we are likely to hold the information. Make sure the information doesn’t belong to another government agency, such as the Ministry for the Environment, WorkSafe New Zealand or the Department of Conservation.
  5. If you are asking about why a decision or recommendation was made by the EPA, say so in your request.
  6. Please contact us to discuss your request if you are not sure how to word it. This will help the person responsible for answering your request to understand what you are asking for.
  7. If your request is urgent, explain why and tell us when you hope to receive our reply.

Useful links and resources for making a request

You can use this letter template to help write your request:

OIA request letter template (DOCX, 21KB)

Read information from the Office of the Ombudsman on making an OIA request

Check the Directory of Official Information to find out if it's us or another agency that's likely to hold the information you want:

Directory of Official Information - Ministry of Justice

Contact us to discuss your request

Phone: 04 916 2426


Our responses to recent OIA requests

People ask us frequently about some topics. Check our recent OIA responses to see if we’ve already answered your question.

If the response indicates that documents were attached, please email to request them.

OIA responses 2021 Plus







OIA responses 2020 Plus