Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngahere.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.

The bird that partakes of the miro berry reigns in the forest.
The bird that partakes in the power of knowledge has access to the World.


Freedom of information is the freedom of a person or people to publish and consume information [1].

The LIANZA Standing Committee on Freedom of Information was formed in 2018 to advise the LIANZA Council and membership on issues of freedom of access to information, intellectual freedom and privacy and to support LIANZA in advocacy on these issues.


  • We research, write and recommend policy statements, submissions and external messages for LIANZA Council endorsement.
  • We inform and support our members though statements, resources, advocacy and advice
  • We encourage open debate and discussion and inform our profession via LIANZA publications and social media, presentations, conferences and webinars.
  • We learn from and contribute to international discourse via IFLA and other international library associations
  • We work with others with the same concerns such as Internet NZ, Creative Commons.



Email: or contact LIANZA:

Current members of the committee are:

  • Louise LaHatte, Auckland Libraries
  • Marlies Zyp - van der Laan, Auckland Libraries
  • Stephanie Colling, Bell Gully
  • Rob Cruickshank, University of Canterbury
  • Winston Roberts, National Library of New Zealand



What is Freedom of Information?

Freedom of information is the freedom of a person or people to publish and consume information [1].

Following consultation with members and LIANZA communities, LIANZA Council adopted the new LIANZA Statement on Freedom of Information 2020.

Other resources on this topic:

  • Further discussion and detail is available in the draft discussion document used in the development of this statement.
    Freedom of Expression Draft Discussion Document
  • This statement replaces the LIANZA statement on Access to Information (Rev. 2002) and the LIANZA Statement on Intellectual Freedom (2002).

Useful links on freedom of information:


What Is censorship?

Censorship can be defined as the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security. (Oxford Languages online)

  • Are you familiar with your responsibilities around restricted or classified publications? While we promote freedom of access to information, libraries in New Zealand must comply with the legislation that controls access to publications that have an age restriction or are banned.  LIANZA has produced a quick guide to the New Zealand legislation, and what you need to know and do.  It includes how to challenge a restriction and how to find out more about this area from the government department that manages this - Te Mana Whakaatu Classification Office. Perfect for ongoing professional development  - BOK 1.

Useful links on censorship:


LIANZA Standing Committee on Freedom for Information chair are leading a team of public and school librarian to develop a draft book challenges toolkit – which will include the issue of topic of misinformation.


What is privacy?

The dictionary definition of privacy is the state in which one is not observed or disturbed by other people or the state of being free from public attention. (Oxford Languages on Google).


These guidelines have been developed for use in library and information services in Aotearoa New Zealand to comply with the Privacy Act 2020 and to promote and protect the privacy of library users.

Useful links on privacy:

  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner
  • Privacy Act 2020
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation The leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.


What Is intellectual freedom?

Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored.

American Library Association Support for Intellectual Freedom

Why Is Intellectual Freedom Important?

Intellectual freedom is the basis for our democratic system. We expect our people to be self-governors. But to do so responsibly, our citizenry must be well-informed. Libraries provide the ideas and information, in a variety of formats, to allow people to inform themselves. [1]

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. (Article 19, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations).

Useful links on intellectual freedom:


What is misinformation?

Misinformation can be defined as false or inaccurate information. In comparison disinformation is false information which is intended to mislead,

Useful links for misinformation:


What is open access? 

Open access (or OA) is a growing worldwide movement, focused on academic research and data. Open access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.

Benefits of open access are displayed in the diagram below.


Useful links on open access:

  • Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor The Future is Open (May 31, 2022)
  • Discover and access New Zealand’s most comprehensive selection of research papers and related resources. This site includes peer-reviewed and other research from universities, polytechnics, and research organisations throughout New Zealand
  • FAIRsharing This website provides standards, polices and databases on sharing resources.
  • OAIster A union catalogue of digital resources from around the world.
  • OpenDOAR An authoritative directory of academic open access repositories.
  • ROARMAP Registry of Open Access Repository Material Archiving Policies.
  • From Cornell University an open access archive of scholarly articles in physics, maths, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance and related fields. This is a preprint open archive and publications are not peer reviewed by arXiv.


The committee will also be developing LIANZA statements and/or guides on these topics. Drafts will be released for your feedback before Council adopts them.

  • Censorship
  • Indigenous knowledge management
  • Other barriers to access to information (including digital skills and access, fines)