Issued
2011

Canterbury earthquake - information sharing

Order in Council (SR 2011/375) extends temporary information-sharing measures introduced to support those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes by 12 months.

Temporary information-sharing measures introduced to help support those affected by the Canterbury earthquakes have been extended for a further 12 months.

Background

To help facilitate prompt and efficient government responses, assistance and services to people in Canterbury following the September Canterbury earthquake, Inland Revenue was given the ability to share certain information with other government agencies via the Canterbury Earthquake (Tax Administration Act) Order 2011.

Sharing information with other departments helped to ensure that social assistance, business subsidies, grant applications and other government services could continue to be delivered in a timely way. Typically, the information might include a person's contact details and their family, financial and employment status.

The information was only shared if doing so supported the restoration of the social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being of the greater Canterbury communities.

Key features

Under the original Order in Council, Inland Revenue's ability to share information was due to expire on 31 October 2011.

Given the continued difficult situation in Christchurch and the surrounding area, and the ongoing need for support, the Canterbury Earthquake (Tax Administration Act) Order (No 2) 2011 will extend Inland Revenue's information-sharing ability until 31 October 2012. This order is made under section 71 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011.

The order contains two safeguards:

  • First, that the Commissioner of Inland Revenue retains a discretion to refuse to disclose information if the Commissioner considers it is undesirable to disclose that information.
  • Second, the order requires a government agency and officers, employees and agents of the government agency with access to information that is communicated under this order to maintain the secrecy of that information and to not communicate that information to any person except as authorised by the Commissioner.

Application date

The order came into effect on 1 November 2011 and expires on 31 October 2012.

Canterbury Earthquake (Tax Administration Act) Order (No 2) 2011 (SR 2011/375)