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Official Information Act
The central bank

Official Information Act

When central and local government organisations and Ministers of the Crown answer requests from the public, they use a well-established set of guidelines and timeframes. These are explained in the New Zealand Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).

The OIA makes government more open. The Act says that unless there is a reason not to tell you, government organisations and Ministers must give you the information you ask for within 20 working days. If they can’t give you the information in this time, they must tell you and give you reasons for the delay.

The Act says that government organisations and Ministers can hold back certain types of information. The Act is very clear what this means. They can refuse your request if public knowledge of the information would have a negative impact on the defence of New Zealand, for example. But they can’t refuse just because the information may reflect badly on the government organisation or embarrass the Minister politically. Officials can’t give out your personal information to anyone but you. If some information is not given to you, the government organisation or Minister must explain the reasons for holding it back. They must also let you know that you can complain to the Office of the Ombudsmen or the Privacy Commissioner about the way your request was handled.

Find out more!

Find out about your rights to Official Information.
Directory of Official Information

Who to contact

Ministry of Justice
10th Floor, Charles Fergusson Building, Bowen Street,Wellington,New Zealand
PO Box 180,Wellington,New Zealand
Telephone 04 494 9700
Fax 04 494 9701
Hours 8am - 6pm

The central bank

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is New Zealand’s central bank and has three main functions. As set in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, these are:

operating monetary policy to maintain price stability
promoting the maintenance of a sound and efficient financial system

meeting the currency needs of the public.

At the most basic level, the Reserve Bank ensures that people can buy and sell goods and services using money, instead of having to barter. Part of this involves providing currency. Cash is physically issued to the public by commercial banks, but they in turn must buy their cash from the Reserve Bank.

The Reserve Bank also ensures that money retains its buying power. The Bank guards against inflation or deflation by adjusting short-term interest rates to match demand in the economy to economic capacity. This process is known as `monetary policy’.

Money retaining its value - also known as price stability - protects the value of people’s incomes and savings. Monetary policy, in itself, can’t generate faster sustainable economic growth, but, by delivering price stability, it helps set a predictable background environment against which businesses and households can make the most effective decisions and by that contribute to maximising sustainable economic growth for New Zealand.

Monetary policy aimed at price stability also helps reduce boom-bust business cycles. When the economy falters inflationary pressures fall and interest rates can be lowered, which encourages the economy and employment to grow again. Conversely, the Reserve Bank increases interest rates when the economy risks getting over-heated.

Another duty is to screen and, where appropriate, register banks and to supervise the banking system. In addition, banks hold accounts with the Reserve Bank that they use to make payments to each other, on behalf of their customers. The Reserve Bank also oversees and operates in financial markets, with the objective of maintaining market stability and confidence.
The Reserve Bank manages the country’s foreign exchange reserves, offers registry and depository services, and provides the secretariat for the Overseas Investment Commission. When the Government wants to borrow in New Zealand dollars, the Reserve Bank raises the funds on behalf of the Treasury, by selling bonds and Treasury bills.



Photo of a bronze statue of Queen Victoria.