I was wondering if anyone knows the answer to this.
I have asked a council to view the property packet on a property. My local council has it all accessible on computer, so you just go into the council offices type in the address and can view the details (which are just PDFs) easily, and get them to print any info off. They do charge a photocopying fee but nothing else, which I consider to to a reasonable way to handle it. However this other council I have contacted, don't have computers for the public to access. Either the property packets are still hard copy format, or they are stored electronically for newer properties. They appear to charge per 10 minute interval if you want to view the hardcopies, as well as the time it takes to photocopy, plus a cost per page. They also charge a fee for the electronic ones to be emailed to you, when it is probably just a 5 minute job to find the property files as a PDF, and email a link.
However I am wondering if they are allowed to charge for this, as it is official information? According to the Official Information Act guidelines https://www.justice.govt.nz/about/official-information-act-requests/directory-of-official-information/charging-guidelines-for-oia-requests/ , it says you usually won’t be charged for the first hour of staff time on your request, or for the first 20 pages of photocopying. Does anyone know if they should be charging like they are?