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The right of access to information is an important human right, necessary for the enjoyment of other human rights and we’ll be celebrating that right on Right to Know Day, 28 September 2017.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner will be joining forces with the Office of the Ombudsman to mark Right to Know Day.

Right to Know Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the legal right New Zealanders have to see the information that organisations hold about them. While the Privacy Act gives people the right to have access to information about them, the Official Information Act gives people another kind of right - the right to access government information.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says both these laws are important cornerstones of transparency and democracy and both are worth celebrating. “Under the Privacy Act, you have the right to see information that organisations hold about you.

“Personal information includes all kinds of things. It can include simple details such as your name, address and your pay slips. It can also include records such as medical test results, notes about you and much, much more.

“So if you want to know what information an organisation holds about you, just ask. You have a right to know,” Mr Edwards said.

One of the ways the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Ombudsman will be marking Right to Know Day is with a PrivacyLive Forum in Wellington on 28 September.

There will be a panel discussion featuring Ombudsman Leo Donnelly, Dr Bryce Edwards from Transparency International, and Hayman Lawyers privacy specialist and former Assistant Privacy Commissioner Katrine Evans. The discussion will be chaired by Radio New Zealand News Director, Brent Edwards. You can register to attend here.

Right to Know Day is celebrated in a number of overseas countries including Canada and Australia. For more information about your right to know, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or the Office of the Ombudsman.

A PDF copy of this media release can be viewed here.

For more information, contact Charles Mabbett 021 509 735.