This privacy notice explains how Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities looks after your personal information.
It lets you know how we collect, store, use and under what circumstances we may disclose your information; how you can access and correct your information; and, how you can make a privacy complaint.
To achieve our vision of Building better, brighter homes, communities and lives, we fulfil several key functions. We are:
- a public housing landlord
- an urban development agency and a builder of public, affordable and market housing, and
- the manager of the government’s home ownership assistance products and programmes.
To do all this, we sometimes need to collect and use your personal information.
What we collect depends on how we are working with you and what service we are providing, but personal information may include:
- identification documents, e.g., a copy of your New Zealand passport, birth certificate, or confirmation of permanent residency if you are not a New Zealand citizen
- your name
- date of birth
- your address
- your contact phone numbers and email address
- who is living in your home with you
- the pets you have
- the condition of the home you are renting
- banking details, e.g., to set up an automatic payment to us
- employer details, e.g., for you to authorise deductions from your salary
- your employment status, proof of income and other financial information, such as a KiwiSaver contribution statement.
We collect personal information for lawful purposes to carry out our functions and to provide services to you.
- identifying you
- contacting you
- working out how we can help you
- ensuring your tenancy is administered in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 and Public and Community Housing Act 1992, and
- ensuring the financial products we provide are administered in accordance with relevant legislation.
We collect personal information from you when you interact with us. This may happen in a number of ways, including when you:
- talk to us over the phone, e.g., when we make a note of the call or the call is recorded by our call centre
- meet us in a Kāinga Ora office or your home
- communicate with us via email, text or online e.g., our feedback form
- fill in a Kāinga Ora form (either online or in hard copy)
- register and use a MyKāingaOra account
- subscribe to email updates.
We usually try to collect personal information from you directly.
However, we may collect your personal information from other people and agencies, such as when you have provided consent for us to collect it from your representative or other third party.
We may collect it from other government agencies when there are legislative grounds for us to ask for the information.
For example, if you are a tenant, we will collect personal information from the appointed social housing agency – the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) – under the Public and Community Housing Act 1992.
MSD decides who qualifies for public housing and gives us personal information about you and your household that is used by us to perform our role as a social housing provider, to assess the available public housing properties and place you into a suitable home based on need and eligibility.
MSD includes information about your:
- level of housing need
- the type and location of houses that may be suitable for you and your household
- information relevant to tenancy sustainability, and
- the Income Related Rent calculated for you and your household.
We create and maintain a secure environment for the protection of your personal information and records. Our systems are monitored, analysed and audited.
All Kāinga Ora employees, maintenance partners and trades are required to act in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020 when handling your information.
Our staff receive training to ensure that your information is handled with respect, care and attention.
Put simply, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services, such as storage and software, over the internet (”the cloud”).
At Kāinga Ora, we store and process some information on cloud platforms based outside of New Zealand, including Microsoft Azure (computing platform), Microsoft 365 (productivity software) and Snowflake (data warehouse and processing). This means that information we hold about you may be transferred to, or accessed from, outside New Zealand.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure that information about you which is stored or processed by our third-party agents is protected from loss, unauthorised access and disclosure, alteration, loss or other misuse. We satisfy ourselves that our providers meet high data security standards, whether in New Zealand or outside of New Zealand.
We make reasonable efforts to ensure that the personal information we collect, use or disclose is accurate.
Whenever you provide information to us, either directly or through your representative, our records are updated.
You have the right to ask that we correct any errors or omissions in the information we hold about you.
We keep your personal information for as long as necessary to achieve the purpose for which we collected it.
If your personal information becomes part of your Kāinga Ora records, we'll keep the information in accordance with the Public Records Act 2005.
When we no longer need to retain your personal information, we will dispose of it securely, in line with our Records Retention and Disposal Policy.
We use the personal information that we collect from you to perform our lawful, everyday functions. We may use your personal information for purposes including:
- confirming your identity
- providing you with our services, such as the provision of suitable housing to people on the Social Housing Register, setting up and administering a tenancy agreement, or processing an application for a home ownership product
- improving our services, e.g., understanding our customers’ preferences while using our websites and enhancing that experience
- statistical analysis and research purposes, so long as the results will not be published in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify you.
Where we need or wish to use your personal information in a new or different way, we will only do so with your consent or when required or permitted by law.
We will not disclose your personal information to any third parties without your consent, except when required or permitted by law, including situations where the disclosure is one of the purposes for which we obtained the information. For example, we may disclose your personal information:
- to our maintenance partners and trades to enable them to carry out maintenance work on your home, e.g., your contact details, the issue that needs fixing and whether there is a dog on the property
- to utility providers to arrange for the connection and administration of key services at your home
- when either you or Kāinga Ora apply to the Tenancy Tribunal (the Tenancy Tribunal considers all disputes between landlords, including Kāinga Ora, and tenants)
- to MSD so they can perform their role as a social housing agency
- to other government agencies. This includes but is not limited to:
- New Zealand Police
- Ministry of Justice
- Department of Corrections
- Ministry of Health.
- to Statistics New Zealand for statistical purposes under the Data and Statistics Act 2022
- to other family violence agencies under the Family Violence Act 2018 or to other child welfare and protection agencies under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
- where necessary for the investigation of offences, or where there is a serious threat to health or safety. If our staff are threatened or abused, we may refer this to the Police and disclose relevant information.
Personal information is required to assess your application and suitability for employment at Kāinga Ora. It will be kept, used and disclosed only in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020 and Public Records Act 2005.
All information you provide as part of your application will be treated as confidential by Kāinga Ora and used only for the purpose it was collected. If your application is successful, this information will be kept on your personal file and used for the purposes of your employment with us.
Aotal Ltd (SnapHire)
When you apply for a role at Kāinga Ora, you will submit your application via Aotal Ltd (SnapHIre), which is a web-based recruitment management system. View how Aotal Ltd(external link) manages your personal information.
As part of our commitment to providing excellent customer service, all calls to our Customer Support Centre (call-centre) are recorded.
We record calls:
- for staff training purposes
- to improve the quality of our customer service
- to ensure we have an accurate record of your call.
Our calls are stored for a period of 12 months and then securely destroyed.
Requesting your call
You have the right to request access, and correction of any personal information we hold about you. See Requesting your personal information to find out how you can request a copy of your call recording.
Google Analytics, a web analysis tool, is incorporated into our websites. Google Analytics records the following information when you visit our sites:
- the browser (eg Chrome) and operating system (eg Windows XP) you use
- the screen resolution of your PC
- the time and date you visit our site
- the pages you visit and the files you download
- the internet address you access our site from (the IP address)
- the search terms you use to find content
- the last site you visited before you came to our site.
This information is stored in a Google server. Only authorised staff within our agency can access the information.
Subscribing to Kāinga Ora email communications
When you subscribe to one of our newsletters or emails, the details you provide are stored securely.
By providing your information you are giving consent to receive emails from us, as provided for in the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007(external link).
You can unsubscribe any time and your details will be removed from the mailing list.
You have the right to request access to any personal information we hold about you. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we may need to verify your identity first. You can also access some information anytime using MyKāingaOra.
We will respond to your request within 20 working days after we receive it. We will let you know if we need more time to respond. If we refuse an access request, we will tell you in writing and state the reasons for refusal and outline further steps you can take.
You can request access to your personal information through any of the following channels:
- Call us on 0800 801 601
- Complete our Enquiries and Feedback form
- Talk to or email your Housing Support Manager
- Visit our Kāinga Ora offices anytime between 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
- Write to Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, PO Box 2628, Wellington 6140
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also make a request using the Request My Info Tool provided by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on its website: Office of the Privacy Commissioner | AboutMe (Request My Info Tool)(external link)
You have the right to ask for information to be corrected if you think it is wrong. We'll assess your request and respond within 20 working days after we receive it. We will either change the relevant information or explain why we think the information should not be changed. If we do not correct the information, you still have the right to have your own statement of correction attached to it and we'll make a note of your change request on your records.
To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, we may need to verify your identity first.
You can request correction of your personal information through any of the following channels:
At Kāinga Ora, we're committed to handling your personal information with care and respect. If you believe we haven’t done that, you can provide feedback or make a complaint.
Making a complaint to us
You can complain through any of the following channels:
- Call us on 0800 801 601
- Complete our Enquiries and Feedback form. Just select 'Complaint' under 'Type of enquiry'
- Talk to or email your Housing Support Manager or their Manager
- Visit our Kāinga Ora offices anytime between 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
- Write to Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, PO Box 2628, Wellington 6140.
Making a complaint to our Privacy Officer
If you want to make a complaint under the Privacy Act 2020, you may contact our Privacy Officer:
Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities
PO Box 2628
Making a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner
If you are not satisfied with the Privacy Officer’s response to your concern, you may make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner:
Officer of the Privacy Commissioner
PO Box 10094
Phone 0800 803 909
Fax 04 474 7590
If you choose to make a complaint to an external body or regulator such as the Offices of the Privacy Commissioner or Ombudsman, then we may share your information with them as part of their enquiries.
Page updated: 13 November 2023