We need to collect personal information about ratepayers, residents and the people we interact with (our customers) in order to deliver services and carry out our statutory functions. We want our customers to feel comfortable about sharing their information with us and so this statement provides transparency about our privacy practices.
Privacy is more than a compliance obligation for us. Managing personal information with care and respect aligns strongly with Tā mātou mauri (Our Principles), and especially our commitment to acting with integrity, honesty and trust. Getting privacy right is fundamental to maintaining the trust and confidence of our customers and stakeholders.
This privacy statement explains what personal information we collect, how we store, use and share it, and how you can access or correct your own information. You can read on for a detailed explanation of our privacy practices, but here’s a few important things to know:
- We only collect (or generate) the personal information we really need to carry out our functions and deliver services
- We use and share personal information only in the ways set out in this privacy statement or notified to you at the time we collect your information, or in other ways only where necessary and with a lawful basis
- We store personal information in secure platforms and systems, and take reasonable steps to protect both electronic and hard copy information from harm
- We keep personal information only for as long as we have a lawful purpose to use it, or for the period required by law
- You can ask us for a copy of your personal information at any time
If you can’t find the information you need in this statement, or you have concerns about the way we are managing your personal information, then please ask us, by emailing [email protected]
We may update this privacy statement from time to time, for example to reflect changes to the Privacy Act 2020 (the Privacy Act), so take another look occasionally to see what might have changed. This statement was last updated in March 2020.
We collect personal information directly from you when you engage with us. Subject to our obligations under the Privacy Act, we may also collect personal information about you from third parties (such as other councils or government agencies) where this is necessary for us to deliver services. We also generate personal information as we carry out our functions and deliver services to you. In all cases, we make sure we only collect the personal information we really need to get the job done.
The personal information we may collect or generate as part of delivering services and carrying out our statutory functions will depend on the particular services requested, but includes:
- contact details, including your address, email address or phone number
- date of birth
- information about your whānau or next of kin
- financial information, including payment methods, bank account details, credit card numbers and credit information (where we have to do a credit check)
- licence plate details, for the purposes of managing infringements
- information about your domestic or financial affairs, for the purposes of managing hardship applications, rates rebates and debt collection
- information about your involvement in civil defence incidents and emergencies
- health information, for example to manage health and safety at our aquatic facilities
- information about your applications for services (including for consents, licenses, and permits), such as the type of application and details of your case
- information about properties, that may include personal information
- dog ownership status
- submissions or feedback
- surveys and focus group engagement
- complaints made to us, by you or by others about you
- correspondence about you (both internal and external)
- file notes of calls or meetings
- call recordings
- CCTV footage (explained further below)
- information about your use of our website (explained further below)
- any other information you choose to provide to us
We use CCTV cameras, which collect still or video footage, in a variety of places and circumstances, when this is necessary to deliver our statutory functions, such as managing infringements and ensuring that our public spaces are safe. For the most part, you will notice when we use CCTV because you will see the cameras and our signage indicating that they are operating. We have CCTV cameras operating:
- in all our service centres and libraries, some of our halls and community centres and major aquatic facilities (these are ‘safety cameras’, monitored by us)
- in carparks, streets and town centres (these are ‘crime cameras’, monitored by the Police)
- on many of the roads in our region (these are ‘traffic cameras’, monitored by the Christchurch Transport Operations Centre)
When you visit our website or use any of our online services, we may collect the following additional information about you (though please note we make no efforts to associate this with your identity):
- generic web browser and operating system information, including IP address
- the search terms you used
- the pages you accessed on our website and the links you clicked on
- the date and time you visited the site
- the referring site (if any) through which you clicked to our website
- the device you used to access the site
We use “cookies” to generate a lot of the information listed above, including to track the way you have used our website. Cookies are small text files that are sent by a website and stored on your computer’s hard drive. You can manually disable cookies at any time in your browser settings without affecting your ability to use our website. While cookies can generate identifiable information, we make no effort to link this information with your identity.
You can read more about how we deliver online services in our Online Services Terms and Conditions.
In order to carry out our functions and deliver services, we need to use your personal information in the ways set out below. Where we need to use information in a way we have not anticipated here, we will only do so if required or permitted by law or with your authorisation.
We will useyour personal information to:
- make sure we can identify you, so we know we’re interacting with and delivering services to the right person
- provide you with the services you have requested, or help our associated organisations (including Council Controlled Organisations) to provide you with services
- manage the use of our facilities
- deliver our statutory functions to investigate and respond to statutory or bylaw infringements and issue infringement notices
- run Council events
- manage and respond to queries, feedback or complaints
- manage payment for services and debt collection processes
- respond to and manage civil defence incidents and emergencies
- provide community updates and notices, newsletters and surveys
- manage our relationships with other local and central government agencies, including the Police, District Health Boards, and regional and central transport authorities
- ensure the health and safety of our staff and the public
- review and improve the delivery of our services, including auditing quality and performance
- train our staff
- (with respect to website data only) analyse website usage and improve website functionality and experience, with the help of Google Analytics
- meet any other specific purpose we have notified to you at the time we collect your information
To meet the uses and purposes set out above, and to effectively carry out our functions and meet our legal obligations, we may need to share your personal information with other people or agencies. Where we believe it is necessary to share your personal information with a third party, we will only ever share the minimum amount required to meet our purposes.
We may need to share your personal information with:
- our service providers and contractors, where necessary to deliver services
- our associated organisations (including Council Controlled Organisations), where necessary to deliver services or our statutory functions, such as:
- Social Services Waimakariri
- Te Kohaka o Tuhaitara Trust
- Christchurch Transport Operations Centre
- government agencies or industry bodies, where necessary to deliver our statutory functions, meet regulatory and reporting requirements, or otherwise comply with the law, such as:
- NZ Police
- Fire and Emergency New Zealand
- NZ Transport Agency
- Environment Canterbury
- Civil Defence agencies (like Victim Support, Salvation Army or Red Cross)
- Department of Internal Affairs
- Inland Revenue
- Poolsafe NZ
- WorkSafe NZ
- other councils and local government agencies, where necessary to deliver services or our statutory functions
- a person who has requested information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (‘LGOIMA’) that includes personal information about you, although where necessary, we will withhold personal information from a LGOIMA response in accordance with our obligations under LGOIMA
- the public, where your personal information is held in a public register, such as the Rating Information Database
We use trusted third party providers to store and process our data, including enterprise technology solutions designed specifically for local government, because we believe this is more secure and cost effective.
Wherever our data is stored, we take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is protected against loss, unauthorised access, disclosure or modification, or other misuse. As well as selecting service providers with strong security safeguards built in, we have appropriate internal policies, procedures and controls in place to ensure that personal information is protected from unauthorised use or disclosure.
We retain personal information only for as long as we need it, and in compliance with the requirements of the Public Records Act 2005. CCTV footage is generally overwritten every few weeks.
The Privacy Act gives you rights to request access to and correction of the personal information we hold about you. You can also take steps to control the ways we use your information (such as opting out of receiving newsletters), and you can complain to us at any time if you think we have misused your personal information.
To exercise any of these rights, please:
- write to us at Private Bag 1005, Rangiora 7440;
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: 0800 965 468 (0800 WMK GOV)
You have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you (whether we have collected it from you directly or from a third party). You also have the right to ask us to correct your information if you think it’s wrong.
We will need to verify your identity before processing your request but, once we’ve done this, we will process your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive it.
We will be as open as we can with you, but there may be times when we need to withhold information from you in accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act and/or LGOIMA. For example, we may need to withhold information about complaints we have received if we believe that releasing it would involve the unwarranted disclosure of information about someone else. If we do need to withhold information from you, we will tell you why.
If you have made a correction request, and we refuse to correct information because we believe it is accurate, you have the right to attach a statement to the information that explains the correction requested.
You can opt out of receiving our newsletter or being included on any other subscription list by following the unsubscribe link at the end of the email or contacting us. You can opt out of our cookies when you use our website by manually disabling cookies in your website browser.
However, if you want us to provide you with a service, such as a consent or permit application, then we may not be able to stop using your information, especially if we’re using it to do something we’re required to do by law.
If you have any concerns about the way we have managed your personal information, or you believe we have unlawfully refused your request for information, please let us know, and we will try our best to resolve it.
If we cannot resolve your concerns, then you have the right to complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Details for making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner can be found at privacy.org.nz/your-rights/making-a-complaint/.