Information Sharing

Information Sharing

We are proposing an agreement with some other government agencies to share information about veterans and their families and whānau.

We are proposing to improve our information sharing about veterans and their families and whānau with some other government agencies.

A te reo Māori explainer of the proposed Veterans' Affairs AISA [PDF, 84 KB]

Benefit to both clients and organisations

The proposed changes aim to improve services to veterans and their whānau. Many of the services, support, or entitlements to veterans and their family and whānau are based on current and historic factors in a veteran’s life. For example, if a veteran has a relationship change, or has a child in education, then the veteran’s and their family or whānau entitlements may change. If organisations have access to up-to-date and correct information about veterans they have the opportunity to improve the existing support to a veteran or offer new support if the veteran has had a change of circumstance. 

The proposed changes also aim to reduce the paperwork for the veterans and to make it easier to gain support from Veterans’ Affairs and the other supporting government agencies.

There will be a public consultation

Before the Government approves the proposed Veterans’ Affairs AISA, they need to be sure that the people most impacted by it and the general public understand what is being proposed and have had the opportunity to have their concerns heard by making a submission.

The consultation period about the proposed Veterans’ Affairs AISA is between 29 August 2022 and 5pm on 7 October 2022.

You can email your submission to VANZPOL@nzdf.mil.nz

Make an email submission

Or you can post your submission to:

Veterans’ Affairs Policy Team
PO Box 5146
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.  

Will I see any benefits from the proposed information sharing?

This proposed AISA aims to improve the delivery of services to veterans, their families and whānau.

It is likely to reduce the amount of paperwork required by clients.

The proposed Veterans’ Affairs AISA aims to provide the other government agencies (who are within the proposed AISA) with authoritative information about veterans so that they can take actions such as offering new services or improving and adjusting existing services and support where there is a change of circumstance. 

What is an AISA?

An Approved Information Sharing Agreement (AISA) is a legal instrument made by Order in Council under the Privacy Act.

It authorises the sharing of personal information between organisations to facilitate the provision of public services.

Who is it proposed will be able to share veterans’ information?

The proposed Veterans’ Affairs AISA specifies which government agency can exchange veteran and their whānau’s information. It also specifies what information can be exchanged.

It will not allow a free exchange of any veteran information between government agencies and Veterans’ Affairs. The information that is being shared must be specified in the proposed AISA.

Personal information may only be shared under this proposed AISA where Veterans’ Affairs is either the providing or receiving agency. Other agencies may not share veteran information between themselves. 

The following government agencies are parties to the Veterans’ Affairs AISA.

  • Veterans’ Affairs which is a unit of the New Zealand Defence Force
  • Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)
  • Department of Corrections (Corrections)
  • Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
  • Te Whatu Ora -Health New Zealand (Health NZ)
  • New Zealand Customs Service (Customs)
  • NZDF Health, NZDF Accredited Employer Programme Unit, NZDF Human Resources Service Centre, the Personnel, Archives and Medals Units and the Heritage, Commemorations and Protocol Units within the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF)
  • Te Aka Whai Ora -The Māori Health Authority (MHA)
  • Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga| Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • The Ministry of Health (MOH)
  • The Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • Kairēhita Matua – Whānautanga, Matenga, Mārenatanga | The Registrar-General, Births, Deaths and Marriages (Registrar-General)

What could organisations share under the proposed AISA?

The specific information that is proposed to be shared about the veteran is:

  • Current and previous names
  • Date and place of birth
  • Contact details
  • Passport details
  • The fact they are a veteran, their last date of active service, and details relating to their service
  • Current rehabilitation and treatment plan details
  • Sentence details
  • Current services provided by Veterans’ Affairs
  • Current and previous services provided by ACC 
  • Any date they enter or leave prison
  • Any prison release and reintegration plans
  • Any travel movements outside of New Zealand
  • Knowledge of if they are working
  • Any benefits being received
  • Any current and previous partners of the veteran
  • Relationship information relating to children, dependants, and whāngai
  • Birth, marriage, civil union, death, and name change records.

The AISA also proposes that some, but not a great deal of information, about the veteran’s family and whānau should also be shared. This information includes:

  • Current and previous names
  • Date and place of birth
  • Contact details
  • Current services provided by Veterans’ Affairs
  • Education enrolment information
  • Identity and relationship information relating to children, dependants, and whāngai
  • Birth, marriage, civil union, death, and name change records.

Not all of the government agencies will be able to share the same information. The AISA specifies which government agency can share what information. Only the information specified above will be able to be shared.

Health information and files like X-rays will not be able to be shared under the proposed AISA.

Should I be concerned about the agreement reducing entitlements for me or my family or whānau?

As a result of the increased information sharing, some services that are currently provided to veterans and their family and whānau could possibly be reduced when it is shown that they no longer qualify for the services, entitlements, or support.

If this is the case the Privacy Act requires the government agency that is going to negatively impact an individual — based on the information received under an AISA — to write to them and provide them with ten working days to advise if the information is incorrect and therefore the wrong decision has been made.

If some services will be reduced, then Veterans’ Affairs would take great care to transition the veteran or family to another form of support.

Should I be concerned about the security of my information?

The AISA includes strict rules about the way that the parties can technically share the information. These are intended to ensure the information remains safe at all times.

What happens next and when?

  • Step 1

    We are currently asking for views and any thoughts about the proposed AISA. You can make submissions between 29 August 2022 and 5pm on 7 October 2022.

  • Step 2

    Once this consultation period is over, the submissions will be reviewed and if required, changes will be made to the proposed AISA.

  • Step 3

    We will then report back to Cabinet for government approval on the proposed next stages.

  • Step 4

    If the AISA proceeds, then an Order in Council is needed to give legal effect to the AISA. We’re not sure how long that will take, but likely to be by the end of 2023. 

  • Step 5

    After that, we will be able to start working with organisations to get operating agreements in place to begin to share information. 

How can I learn more about the proposed changes?

The Public Consultation Document and associated documents are available to the public.

Public Consultation Document [PDF, 1 MB]

Approved Information Sharing Agreement [PDF, 1013 KB]

Privacy Impact Assessment [PDF, 975 KB]

We will also be arranging Zoom meetings to discuss it further and hopefully be able to answer any of your questions.

If you would like an invite to these Zoom meetings please email your request to va.communications@nzdf.mil.nz.

How can I make a submission?

There is no set format for a submission.

You can email us your thoughts and concerns at VANZPOL@nzdf.mil.nz

Make an email submission

Or post it to:

Veterans’ Affairs Policy Team
PO Box 5146
Wellington 6140
New Zealand.  

The consultation period is between 29 August 2022 and 5pm on 7 October 2022.