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Every Kiwi has the right to access their information, and everyone deserves information in a way that they understand. 

The Official Information Act is one document that sets out how Government agencies should share information. In 2022 the Plain Language Act came into law, telling the same agencies and organisations owned by the Government, that they must communicate in a clear and accessible way for all New Zealanders. 

Your right to access information in way you understand

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) started the Accessibility Charter, which a number of other Government agencies and organisations have committed to. It means they have all promised to make their information easy for everyone to access.

MSD share that information should be provided in alternate formats if any of these conditions apply to the communication:

  • It’s for disabled people
  • Your rights or responsibilities are affected
  • Your decisions or payments are affected
  • You're involved in consultations or surveys
  • Info is private, personal, or legal
  • You ask for information in a different way.

This means if you’re asking for information from a Government agency, you have the right to be able to get it in a way you can understand. These alternate formats are:

  • New Zealand Sign Language
  • Large Print
  • Braille
  • Audio
  • Easy Read

Learn more about the charter on the MSD website. (external link)

Some interesting finds

Some interesting finds

Communicating with diverse groups with different disabilities is easy with our guide to accessible formats.

Last updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2024

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