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Latest in Guidance resources

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health on the road

Health on the road

This document provides guidance for anyone taking health information into the community.

Advisory opinions

Advisory opinions are opinions that agencies and ministers can seek from the Privacy Commissioner concerning the application of the Privacy Act.

The process is intended to promote understanding of the information privacy principles and give greater certainty to Ministers and agencies in relation to the Act’s operation in particular circumstances. 

Opinions will usually be published on the OPC website and the relevant agencies named. 

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Advisory opinion FAQs

Why has the Commissioner adopted this policy?

The policy aims to show Ministers and agencies how the Commissioner would view the operation of the Privacy Act in particular circumstances. The policy also aims to show how the Commissioner would be likely to approach a matter if it were raised in proceedings.

Does an advisory opinion provide the ‘final word’ on a point of legal interpretation under the Act?

No. The advisory opinion will...

A quick tour of the privacy principles

Read our updated and revised 'A quick tour of the privacy principles' guidance which is on our website and also available as a printable document.

Privacy Impact Assessment Toolkit

A privacy impact assessment (PIA) is an essential part of many projects and proposals, and can be used to identify potential risks. Read our new PIA guidance.

Harmful Digital Communications Act FAQs

Read our FAQs about the Harmful Digital Communications Act which aims to deter, prevent and mitigate harm caused to individuals by digital communications.

Apps guidance

Need to Know or Nice to Have: Our guide on how can make app privacy your competitive advantage.

FAQs on FATCA

Our Frequently Asked Questions on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a United States law that takes effect for New Zealand tax purposes on 1 July 2014.

Finding other people’s personal information

Here's what to do when you find information that is not yours. You may have been sent it by mistake or discovered it but the important thing is how to return it.

Health Privacy Toolkit

Our Health Privacy Toolkit brings together new guidance material with material we've already produced, and puts it all together in one convenient place.

Keep your Information safe

This is a set of five advice cards to help people keep their information safe. We hope these cards will be helpful for people of all ages in our communities.

This page contains the cards in both Word and jpeg format; cartoons that New Zealand community organisations and seniors organisations can use for free (all others should check with the cartoonist, Chris Slane, for licence arrangements); and also links to stories that may...

Keep your information safe

Keeping Your Information Safe: This is a set of five advice cards to help people keep their information safe.

Comprehensive Credit Reporting Fact Sheet

This fact sheet outlines, and provides links to, resources from overseas on the case for comprehensive credit reporting and associated issues arising in the transition from a negative to a positive system.

Seasonal privacy tips

Some seasonal privacy tips on how to keep your personal details safe over the holiday period from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner:

  • When shopping on-line, you can limit the risk of someone stealing your credit card details and racking up huge purchases by having a separate, low-limit credit card.

  • You can a get a free copy of your credit record (once a year) to check for accuracy and that nobody is applying for credit in your name. (Visit

Fact Sheet on Part 11A of the Privacy Act 1993: Transfer of Personal Information outside New Zealand

The Privacy (Cross-border Information) Amendment Act 2010, which commenced on 8 September 2010, inserted a new Part 11A (Transfer of Personal Information outside New Zealand) into the Privacy Act 1993.

The objective of Part 11A is to empower the Privacy Commissioner in exceptional cases to prohibit the onward transfer of personal information received from overseas. The power to prohibit transfers is intended to meet the expectations of NZ's trading partners whose own laws limit cross-b...

Information Notice Credit Reporting Privacy Code Amendment No 3

The Privacy Commissioner has recently issued the Credit Reporting Privacy Code Amendment No 3, as notified in the Gazette. The amendment was publicly consulted on in 2009 and will come into force on 22 February 2010.

The Code anticipated a full review two years after it became fully operational. Please note that the Commissioner is undertaking that general review of the code at the present time. This amendment does not arise from that review. Any proposed changes arisi...