This statement was last updated in November 2021.
We respect that your privacy is precious to you. Our privacy statement explains how and why Whanganui District Council collects, stores, uses and shares your personal information.
Under the Privacy Act 2020 (Privacy Act) we are required to follow a set of rules when handling personal information. This privacy statement has therefore been prepared in accordance with our obligations and your rights as set out in the Privacy Act.
This privacy statement may be updated from time to time to reflect changes in legislation or to our business.
The kinds of personal information we collect
We need to collect personal information for a number of reasons, however, this will only be necessary for a function or activity of the council.
Where relevant, the personal information we collect may include your name, gender, date of birth, image, addresses, email address, or telephone numbers to enable us to respond to your requests for information, or provide you with our services and/or the use of our facilities.
We may also collect personal information regarding your communications with us, or how you interact with us.
Collecting your personal information
Wherever possible we will collect personal information from you directly, or from anyone you have authorised to provide information on your behalf.
The instances that we may collect your personal information could include, for example, when you:
- Apply for employment with us.
- Correspond with us, whether in person, by letter, phone, or electronically.
- Complete and submit forms or applications for consents, licences, approvals, permits, funding, or other authorisations.
- Use, register, or subscribe to any of our services or facilities, including online services and apps, online payment services, service updates, online community panel, newsletters and libraries.
- Submit a written submission, request or other feedback.
- Follow or post comments on our social media or other online communications.
- Appear in any images and audio from Closed Circuit Television or body cameras (as outlined below).
- Make use of operational or service systems.
We may keep a record of any information that you acquire from us. If we no longer require the information for the purpose it was collected and it’s not legally required to be held, it will be securely disposed of.
We may monitor and record phone calls made to or by us for quality control or staff training purposes. If your call is to be monitored and recorded, we will let you know of this at the time of the call.
We may collect personal information about you from other organisations, entities or persons, such as:
- Our related organisations, including council-controlled organisations.
- Our suppliers, which include organisations such as:
- Land Information New Zealand
- Other government departments
- Persons raising concerns about activities on your property or at your business
- The New Zealand Police, credit reporting agencies and other organisations, entities and persons where you have expressly authorised them to provide us with information.
We may collect video footage through various means, including:
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is used in particular areas to monitor pedestrian and traffic movements, Council facilities such as libraries and recreation centres, council buildings, work locations, assets, and public places in order to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and to promote community safety. Signage advising of CCTV equipment will give notice of the areas covered by such equipment. CCTV footage will only be viewed by authorised people in accordance with the purposes noted above or for regularly checking that the system is working. No attempt will be made to identify individuals from CCTV footage unless a reported or suspected incident requires investigation.
Body-worn cameras are used by council parking and animal services officers to minimise the risk of personal harm to staff and members of the public, and to assist staff to lawfully carry out their duties. Officers will have a clearly-visible notice / ID tag advising that they are wearing the body camera, and will advise you when the camera is operating. Recorded footage will be stored on secure servers for up to 25 days and can only be viewed by authorised people. Footage may be used as a basis for the council to address any problematic behaviour and may also be provided to New Zealand Police should a formal complaint be made.
Public sessions of council meetings are livestreamed and then made available on our website. Signage is displayed to indicate that the meeting is being filmed. Although livestreaming is mainly intended to capture elected members speaking and debating, filming may also include footage of the public gallery and anyone presenting in a public session. Footage of public meetings is permanently kept.
How we use your personal information
The personal information that we collect from you or someone acting on your behalf may be used for any of the following purposes:
- To provide you with services or facilities, including those you have requested and those that assist our council controlled organisations to provide services or facilities to you.
- To positively confirm your identity. This is to ensure we provide you with appropriate and relevant services and information, and to avoid inappropriate release or use of your information.
- To respond to your correspondence, requests, enquiries, and feedback or in relation to customer care-related activities.
- To process your application for any consent, licence, approval, permit, or other authorisation.
- To process your application to use, or to register for, any of our services or facilities, including our online services.
- To process payments received or made by the council.
- To provide you with information about the council and council-controlled organisations’ events, news, services or facilities that we consider may be of interest to you.
- To comply with relevant laws and regulations.
- For general administrative and business purposes, including to carry out activities connected with the running of our business or operations such as public consultations, personnel training, or testing and maintenance of computer and other systems.
- To update any information that we currently hold about, or in connection with, you in our existing records, database or systems.
- To assist us in analysing, and further developing and improving our products and services.
- For any other specific purpose that you authorise.
Sharing your personal information
Your personal information will only be shared with your consent, or where there is a legal requirement to share it, or if it has been anonymised.
We may disclose your personal information to:
- Any person engaged by the council to provide products or services to you if it is necessary for the provision of those products or services.
- Council-controlled organisations in order to assist with the functions and services that they provide.
- A third party if required by law, including in the course of legal proceedings or other investigations. Such personal information may include CCTV footage and footage from body cameras worn by parking and animal services officers with the New Zealand Police or other public sector agencies where criminal activity is reported or suspected. The New Zealand Police may also access live feeds from certain CCTV cameras from time to time for law enforcement, investigation and emergency response purposes.
- Any person to whom you authorise us to disclose your personal information.
Other information we hold about you, or in relation to you, may be made available to the public, including:
- Information held on property files or our rating information database.
- Any submission or feedback you make in relation to annual and long term plans, draft or proposed bylaws, strategies and policies, district or regional plans, or any other public consultations. A copy of submissions (including submitter name and/or organisation) are made available on our website and as requested.
- Video footage of council meetings used for the purpose of livestreaming.
What if you do not provide the personal information we request?
If you do not provide us with all of the personal information that we request from you, we may not be able to adequately respond to your correspondence, process any payments, or applications you have submitted, provide the services or facilities you have requested or registered for, or otherwise deal with any requests or enquiries you may have submitted.
In some circumstances, you are legally required to provide personal information to the council when it is carrying out a lawful function. We will explain the reasons for this at the time we collect your personal information.
Security and accuracy of your personal information
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is kept safe and secure. This includes making sure it is protected from loss, accidental or unauthorised disclosure, access, use or modification, or any other misuse.
We will also take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is accurate, up to date, and relevant before using or disclosing it.
How long we hold personal information
We may keep all personal information that we collect (on both our active and archive systems) for as long as is administratively necessary in accordance with the council’s information retention and disposal schedule, or as legally required.
The Public Records Act 2005 requires us to retain “protected records” indefinitely. In some circumstances, your personal information may be included within a protected record, including submissions you make in relation to consultation on bylaws, policies, strategies, and plans.
Accessing and correcting your personal information
You can request to access and correct the personal information we hold about you, subject to other legislation that we are bound by.
You can request access to your personal information we hold by emailing us at email@example.com or by using the Privacy Commissioner’s ‘AboutMe’ request form.
Once we confirm your identity, we will reply to you within 20 working days and provide you with access to your personal information unless there is good reason to withhold some or all of the information under the Privacy Act.
We need to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate. You can request us to correct your personal information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don’t agree that the correction is needed, we will explain why, and will take reasonable steps to record your view in a statement of correction that sits alongside your personal information on our business records (if requested).
Opting out of certain uses of your personal information
You can opt out of receiving our newsletter or being included on any other subscription list or news feed by following the unsubscribe link at the end of the email or contacting us.
You cannot opt out of the council using your personal information if we are exercising one of our statutory functions and your personal information is necessary for us to exercise this function.
How to contact us and raise privacy concerns
If you think that we have breached our obligations with regard to the Privacy Act, or have a privacy issue you wish to discuss, you can contact our Privacy Officer via:
Phone: 06 349 0001
Whanganui District Council
PO Box 637
If you still feel that your privacy issue has not been resolved, you can make a complaint to the
Privacy Commissioner who will assess whether there’s been a breach of the Privacy Act. The Privacy Commissioner can also make binding decisions on complaints regarding access to information. The Privacy Commissioner can be contacted via:
Phone: 0800 803 909 (Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 3.00pm)
Accessing and requesting official information
You can request access to official information we hold by emailing us at email@example.com.
We will reply to you within 20 working days and provide you with the official information requested in accordance with the Local Government and Meetings Act 1987 unless there is good reason to withhold some or all of the information under the Act.
You can browse the website without providing any personal information.
The website does not automatically collect any personal information about you.
Website use information
However, when you visit the Council website it automatically logs some information, namely:
- the IP addresses from which you accessed the site
- the terms you used to search for content on the site
- the pages you accessed
- the last site you visited before coming to this site
- the type of browser and operating system you use, and your screen resolution.
This information cannot be used to identify you and will be used only for the purposes of system administration, reporting within the council, and auditing the use of the site.
Cookies and analytics
We also use a range of technologies to collect and analyse user data from our website and social media channels. These allow us to gain insights into how users interact with these platforms so we can optimise them to meet their needs. The analytics tools we use are:
- Google Analytics (for analysing website activity)
- Hotjar (for analysing website activity)
- Buffer (for analysing social media activity)
- Mailchimp (for analysing engagement with our email newsletters)
Our internet service providers may also make a record of your visit and log information for statistical purposes. This information is only analysed on a bulk basis for broad demographic content.
Individual use is not analysed. We do not attempt to identify users or their browsing activities unless they choose to give us personal information while using our website.