Stuff: Protect the public’s right to know: cure the unhealthy Official Information Act

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EDITORIAL: By default, you should have access to official government information.

Sadly, too often it doesn’t work like that.

We’re a country slouching toward increased state secrecy. Reputation-conscious politicians, a risk-averse public sector conditioned to shield ministers from embarrassment, the explosion in “PR professionals”, and the punishing workload on the Ombudsman’s office have combined to thwart the public’s right to know.

The Official Information Act (OIA) was passed in 1982 and allows all New Zealanders to ask the government or any public body for information.

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