Sharing your information

Sometimes we need to share your information with people or organisations outside of the Ministry of Social Development.

We share your information when:

  • Our reason for sharing matches the reason we collected it

    We share your information with a number of agencies, including:

    • organisations that we contract to deliver services on our behalf, including:
      • training, education and career advice
      • social housing - to check if you can get help with housing
      • employment providers who help you get back to independence
      • community services for disabled people
    • an employer - to help find you work and discuss job interviews we refer you to, eg:
      • labour hire companies
      • immigration advisors
      • immigration consultants acting on behalf of employers
    • other government agencies, eg we share information with the Tertiary Education Commission to make sure that course fee payments are correct.
  • We have a specific legal reason

    We will only share your information in situations where the law says we should.

    Sharing with other government agencies

    We share your information with other government agencies when we have an agreement with them, such as:

    • Approved Information Sharing Agreement
    • Information Matching Agreement, or
    • Memorandum of Understanding.

    We only share what we are allowed to under these agreements.

    What happens when we share your information

    When we share your information with another government agency, we look for things like:

    • if you've started working
    • if you've gone overseas
    • if you're getting a payment from ACC.

    If we match you to any information that will affect your benefit or payment, we'll send you a letter. This is called an adverse action letter. It will let you know what will happen to your benefit or payment.

    You have 5 working days to let us know if you don't agree with the information in this letter. If we don't hear from you in 5 working days, we'll make the changes to your benefit or payment.

    Co-operating with legal investigations

    Agencies may ask us for information to help their investigation or legal proceedings, eg:

    • New Zealand Police
    • the Courts
    • Customs
    • ACC
    • Oranga Tamariki, or
    • the Ministry of Justice.

    We will give them any information they ask for if the law requires us to.

    Ensuring the safety and security of people

    We may share information if there is a concern for your or your family's safety.

    This is usually with:

    • Oranga Tamariki, if we have concerns about a child's safety
    • New Zealand Police, if we have concerns about a person's safety.

    Using information for research

    We can share information with people doing research about our services.

    We will make sure you can’t be identified when the research is published. This helps everyone design services that best meet the needs of New Zealanders. It means you, and others who need support in the future, get the best possible services.


    We provide information for the Stats NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). The IDI is a large research database that is used to understand New Zealand society and economy. It's maintained under Stats NZ’s “five safes” privacy and security requirements. This means that they keep the information safe and protect your privacy.

    The research links up data across government agencies. It can help answer questions about complex issues that affect New Zealanders.

    Sharing publicly available information

    We can share information that is already available to the public.

    For example, you may have provided details about yourself to the media. We can then give that same information to other parties.

  • You give us permission to share it

    This could be when you:

    • sign a consent form
    • voluntarily provide information to us, eg, when you fill out a survey.