Another thing to consider: are journos, particularly the Press Gallery, really that scared of getting what Nicky Hager got if they learn too much about certain agendas? It could go a long way to explaining why they go for 'fish in a barrel' issues.
I think they're more concerned about spoiling their future career chances. Journalism depends on relationships, and its difficult to do if Ministers refuse to talk to you. And if they're planning to switch to being a Ministerial press secretary one day, its even more important not to offend their potential future bosses.
The modern approach to political management. It doesn't matter how bogus are the numbers used to provide support for your policy because by the time the true numbers are revealed, we've "all moved on...nothing to see here''... bullshit prevails.
Yes. To them, facts are just a rhetorical prop, not a basis for or means of informing policy.
Obvious question: did the police - who get millions of dollars of new funding from this policy - lie deliberately, or are they just morons?
the decommissioning of its Wellington outside broadcast truck, the one that brings you Back Benches.
And presumably a hell of a lot of news as well?
Just tacking an offence with a 2 year max sentence on it would introduce the spectre of transgressing ministers being kicked out of parliament for good, and it would spell career death for public servants too.
More importantly, it would give public servants something to point to to justify standing up to Ministers: "I could go to jail for this, and I'm not doing that for you".
Ministers are already subject to legal time limits, and to laws limiting their ability to withhold information. They routinely ignore both.
Wow. I have never seen one of those though I knew something like them must exist.
Try OIAing one of yours. It might be interesting.
I know it doesn’t always work, especially with many of the situations described here, but if I just want something uncontroversial then I tend to just ask politely before anything else, and with no specific reference to the OIA.
Which works great for uncontroversial queries from uncontroversial people. But if you are media, or a successful requester, any request you make is seen as controversial regardless of content, so its got to be knives out from the start.
"No Surprises" means that the Minister gets a cover sheet saying you're "politically active" when being "informed" (asked) about your request. It is simply not credible that this does not affect the decision-making process.
Agreeing with I/S on this, and further that all inquiries to a government agency or minister are regarded under the act as OIA inquiries, according to the Ombudsman.
Yes. So under the Take No Shit rule, if you make a polite enquiry and a public servant fobs you off, ask them if that is their final response, because legally they've responded to an OIA request and you can go straight to the Ombudsman. They tend to become cooperative after that, because the one thing worse than an OIA request is an Ombudsman's enquiry.
They weren’t refused. They were all met within the specified timeframe.
Good to know.
I totally get your point that OIAs are an important tool for making governments more transparent. It just wasn’t a lot of fun to be on the receiving end of, as a parent volunteer.
I understand completely. I've handled a privacy act request as a volunteer, and that wasn't a lot of fun (but very, very educational).