Parliament's reasons for enacting this Act are—
1 Parliament recognises that in a free and democratic society—
(a) there should be open discussion of public affairs; and
(b) information in the government's possession or under the government's control is a public resource; and
(c) the community should be kept informed of government's operations, including, in particular, the rules and practice followed by government in its dealings with members of the community; and
(d) openness in government enhances the accountability of government; and
(e) openness in government increases the participation of members of the community in democratic processes leading to better informed decision-making; and
(f) right to information legislation contributes to a healthier representative, democratic government and enhances its practice; and
(g) right to information legislation improves public administration and the quality of government decision-making; and
(h) right to information legislation is only 1 of a number of measures that should be adopted by government to increase the flow of information in the government's possession or under the government's control to the community.
2 The Government is proposing a new approach to access to information. Government information will be released administratively as a matter of course, unless there is a good reason not to, with applications under this Act being necessary only as a last resort.
3 It is Parliament's intention to emphasise and promote the right to government information. It is also Parliament's intention to provide a right of access to information in the government's possession or under the government's control unless, on balance, it is contrary to the public interest to provide the information. This Act reflects Parliament's opinion about making information available and the public interest.