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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/information-sharing/how-to-share-information/requesting-information/
Printed: 20/10/2019
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Last updated: 01/07/2019

Requesting information

The provisions make it clear we can request information if we believe it’s in the best interests of tamariki and will support their wellbeing or safety.

Requesting information under sections 66 and 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act

Section 66 and section 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 enable us to request information from others.

Section 66

Under section 66 we can request relevant information from any agency (with a few exceptions) and they must comply (unless the information is covered by legal professional privilege) if it's required:

  • to determine if a tamaiti or rangatahi is in need of care and protection or assistance under section 17(2) or (2A) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, or
  • for any other proceedings under part 2 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

Information Oranga Tamariki or police get this way can’t be used to investigate an offence. Police might officially collect the same or similar information under different laws to investigate a crime, including any offences committed by tamariki or rangatahi or against tamariki or rangatahi. Nothing about the provisions changes the way police investigate crimes.

When requesting information under this section be clear about:

  • the section of the Act we are requesting this information under
  • what we are requesting and why
  • any timeframes we are working to
  • any risks if the holder discusses the request with the person the information is about.

Section 66C

Under section 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989:

  • we can request information from other child welfare and protection agencies or independent persons
  • they can request information from us
  • they can request information from each other.

As long as the information will be used for any of the purposes defined in the Act:

  • Preventing or reducing risk of a tamaiti or rangatahi being subject to harm, ill-treatment, abuse, neglect or deprivation.
  • Making or contributing to an assessment of risk or need.
  • Making, contributing to or monitoring support plans in relation to plans and activities of Oranga Tamariki.
  • Preparing, implementing or reviewing prevention plans or strategies issued by Oranga Tamariki.
  • Arranging, providing or reviewing services facilitated by Oranga Tamariki for the child, young person or their whānau.
  • Carrying out any functions in relation to a family group conference, children in care or other functions relating to care and protection in part 2 of the Act.

Section 66C provisions also enable youth justice coordinators or youth justice social workers to request information from others to help them understand te tamaiti wellbeing.

Consider using the section 66C provisions to request information to:

  • put services in place to support tamariki or rangatahi wellbeing — this may be outside of the formal youth justice family group conference plan in accordance with section 208(3)(a) and (b)  
  • put services in place to support whānau hapū and iwi.

When requesting information under this section be clear about:

  • the section of the Act we are requesting this information under
  • if the agency or individual we are requesting information from is covered under the provisions of the Act
  • what we are requesting and why
  • any timeframes we are working to
  • whether you have discussed the request with the person the information is about
  • any risks if the holder discusses the request with the person the information is about.

Process for requesting information using sections 66 and 66C (PDF 83 KB)

What information we can request

The Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 doesn’t list the kinds of information that can be requested because each situation is different and we will need to determine what information we will require to achieve the specific purpose and situation. The information we request should be for the purposes outlined in sections 66 or 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

It could include:

  • details about who works with tamariki, rangatahi or family/whānau (like schools or doctors) and why
  • details about the home environment
  • descriptions about tamariki, rangatahi and family/whānau needs, aspirations, strengths, what’s working well (physical or mental health, education, behaviour, social connections)
  • an outline of challenges or concerns family/whānau are facing (like financial pressure, housing difficulties, family violence concerns or alcohol and drug issues)
  • information about who or what has helped tamariki, rangatahi or family/whānau in the past or what challenges and concerns there have been in the past for tamariki, or people around them.

 Things to consider when making a request for information:

  • What kind of support and help do we, tamariki, rangatahi and the whānau think they need?
  • Which professionals or agencies can give this support or would be best to provide the information?
  • What professionals or agencies might have information that helps us understand te tamaiti better?
  • Have you been specific about what we require and why?
  • What are the potential impacts and mitigations of requesting the information from the agency or independent person? This could include risks to individual people working with te tamaiti or whānau, or the risk of a negative impact on what could be a very supportive relationship.

Who we can request information from

Te tamaiti and family/whānau we work with can have multiple agencies involved in their lives. When requesting information we should always consider who is the best provider or source of that information.

If we are using section 66 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 to request information we can request information from any agency (including a person) as defined in section 2(1) of the Privacy Act 1993. There are some restrictions about who we can request from in the definition of agency.

If we are using section 66C of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 we can request information from any child welfare agency or independent person.

Check that whoever you are requesting information from is covered under the information sharing provisions of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

Supporting definitions — Information sharing

Who we can request information about

When we request information we have to be able to demonstrate that it is for 1 of the legal reasons set out in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. However, there are no limits in the provisions on who the information we request is about.

 But most of the time information will be about:

  • tamariki or rangatahi themselves, or their parents or caregivers
  • people in the wider family/whānau or who te tamaiti lives with
  • people who tamariki or rangatahi already have a relationship with.

How to make a request

Requests for information may be oral (face-to-face conversation, phone call) or written (including email). Some agencies or organisations may have their own specifications on how that request is made to them. We have an information request template that you can use for requesting information.  

When you're considering requesting information:

  • talk to the provider to give them a clear understanding of why the information is needed
  • clarify the timeframes that will be suitable for providing the information
  • keep a record of what you discuss.

Request for information under sections 66 and 66C — form (PDF 116 KB)