Another example of the Reserve Bank’s approach to the OIA

Regular readers will recall the OCR leak at the time of the March MPS.  A month or so later, when the Reserve Bank reluctantly recognized that there had in fact been a leak, and that their systems needed to change to reduce future risks, they released what purported to be a report undertaken for them into the leak by Deloitte.

In fact, subsequent material released by the Bank in response to an OIA request confirmed that what had been released then was not the actual report but a short-form “public” version.  I’m not sure what they had to hide, but decided to ask for a copy of the full report, partly out of genuine interest in its contents (as I had been the subject of a significant portion of the short-form “report”) and partly on the principle that leak inquiry reports, paid for by taxpayers’ money, should be made public as a matter of course.  In particular, the public should not be misled into believing that they were being given a full report, when in fact they were being given only a convenient summary.  When the initial release was made on 14 April, there was no suggestion at all that what was being released was a summary report only.

Anyway, I lodged the request several weeks ago, and this afternoon received this response.  How it can take more than 20 working days to decide whether or not to release a single report (that they already claimed to have released), which they themselves commissioned, and which they must have expected to be requested, and which deals only with their lock-ups etc is beyond me.  It seems like just another excuse for delay, another opportunity to simply ignore the principles of the Official Information Act.

(UPDATE: A reader points out that the Bank has given itself almost twice as long to consider the release of a single easily accessible administrative document as it allows for citizens to make submissions on its own proposals for further far-reaching regulatory interventions around housing finance.)

22 July 2016

Dear Mr Reddell


On July 4 2016 you made a request under the Official Information Act for:

“…. a copy of the full Deloitte inquiry report (as distinct from the “summary” – Graeme’s description in the Board minutes – or “public” version that was released on 14 April”.

The Reserve Bank is extending the time limit for decisions on your request to 10 August 2016, as permitted under section 15A(1)(b) of the Act, because consultations necessary to make decisions on the request are such that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the original 20 working day time limit.

Under section 28(3) of the Official Information Act, you have the right to complain to the Ombudsman about the Reserve Bank’s decisions relating to your requests.

Yours sincerely


Naomi Mitchell

External Communications Adviser | Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Auckland)

205-209 Queen St, Auckland 1010 | P O Box 5240, Auckland 1141

  1. +64 9 366 2643 | M. +64 27 294 3900 | F. +64 9 366 0517

9 thoughts on “Another example of the Reserve Bank’s approach to the OIA

  1. Naomi Mitchell

    External Communications Adviser

    Yeah Right.
    Say’s it all really.
    Obviously has no idea what the definition of External Communications is.


  2. Actually, “Robert” she is one of the most effective communication people I know and a huge credit to the Reserve Bank. Had you ever dealt with her you would know that.

    This site seems to have taken on a very nasty edge of late Michael where it all seems to be about attacking folk rather than the issues. And you have cheek to call yourself Christian.


    • Tina

      Naomi is a perfectly pleasant person, as most people at the Reserve Bank are. As you’ll note, I didn’t mention her in my post, let alone criticise her. In matters like this, she will be delivering a message determined by someone at a rather more senior level.

      I’m a bit puzzled by your final comment. I do think the senior tier of the Reserve Bank is not really up to the job they have taken on – and that is particularly so for the Governor, in whom all the power and responsibility is vested by law. In some ways, it is one of the (many) unfortunate features of the single decisionmaker system that it almost inevitably concentrates concerns about the institution on the individual – but that was, in effect, Parliament’s intention. I’ve worked fairly closely with all the senior people at the Bank over the years, and have no personal animus towards any of them. Of the top 4 in the organization, I still sit on a governing entity with one of them, and sat across a desk from another for eight years, which leaves me more hesitant about being openly critical than I otherwise would be. But having considered the evidence and arguments, I think they need to do their job rather better, or step aside. For the time being, clearly those who appoint them disagree, but the nature of a democracy needs to involve robust scrutiny, and if necessary criticism, of those who hold powerful positions.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They are all nice people drinking tea in their ivory tower and making lousy decisions without doing a proper job of research and consultation and extremely poor forecasting which has lead to lousy and inept comments and inept decisions.


    • I would like to see significantly more consultation with Chartered Accountants because it is clear to me most economists cannot even read a set of financial statements and we expect them to run the finances of the country.


  4. Don Brash former RBNZ governor on todays The Nation, just shows how poorly prepared economists are with making bold poorly researched statements on immigration. He blames that immigration is within the government’s discretion to lower demand through lowering immigration. It is clear he has not bothered to even understand that immigration consists of only 14k actual gross migrant arrivals, plus 30K returning kiwis, plus foreign workers, plus international students, plus long stay tourists.

    Completely ignoring that the net 70k net migration gains have been driven largely by international students and foreign workers. The gross 14k migrant arrivals have been consistently around the same each year for the last 10 plus years. We do nor even have the numbers that depart of that 14k each year due to Statistics NZ laziness.


    • Don Brash is also completely ignorant of the 3.2 million tourists, an increase of 400k over the last 12 months and the explosion of crowd funding residential properties eg air bnb impact on displacing normal renters due to the lack of hotel building.


  5. Arthur Grimes keeps being incorrectly quoted the he wants to crash the market by 40%. His article clearly points to wanting central Auckland and the waterfront properties to be more like the Gold Coast with 50 level towers everywhere. That is the way we get cheaper housing. More apartments at lower


    • Grant Robertson did not do his research, Q & A did not do their research when they put forward Grimes as wanting to crash the housing market. Poor and nonsense reporting again by Q & A for getting it wrong. And Grant Robertson just showing again that Labour is poorly represented in the finance portfolio.


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