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Privacy at Otago

The University of Otago is committed to maintaining privacy of personal information and adhering to the principles of the Privacy Act 2020.

This page provides links to key University policies, external information related to privacy, and who to contact about privacy breaches.

University of Otago privacy information

Policy on Access to, and use of, Personal Information

The University’s overarching policy covering staff access to, and use of, staff and student personal information.

Privacy of Student Information

The University’s statement on how it collects, uses, stores and discloses student personal information.

Authorisation of Access to Student Information Procedure

Guidance and procedures for authorising staff access to student information through the University’s eVision student management system.

Recording of Lectures and other Teaching Activities Policy

A policy containing privacy provisions in relation to the recording of teaching activities (e.g. videoing of lectures).

Website and Mobile App Privacy Policy

Privacy considerations in relation to use of the University’s website and mobile app.

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Report a privacy breach

A privacy breach occurs when there is unauthorised or accidental access to someone’s personal information* or disclosure, alteration, loss or destruction of personal information. It can also include situations where the University is stopped either temporarily or permanently from accessing personal information.

* Personal information is any information about an identifiable individual, such as their name, address, photo, opinion or viewpoint. The information does not need to name someone specifically, as long as they are identifiable in other ways.

All staff have a responsibility to report privacy breaches.

Even minor privacy breaches must be notified. Further advice will be provided on actions required, which may include completion of the Privacy Breach Notification Form:

Privacy Breach Notification Form (PDF)

Contact during work hours

If you become aware of a privacy breach, immediately notify both your manager and:

The University Privacy Officer
Tel +64 3 479 8899


The Deputy Privacy Officer
Tel +64 3 479 8993

Contact outside work hours

For breaches identified outside normal work hours, please contact:

Mayhaka Mendis
The University Privacy Officer

University privacy resources

Disclosing personal information

The Privacy Act 2020 introduces new requirements around disclosing personal information overseas. Read the linked guidance if you need to disclose personal information about others overseas.

Guidance when disclosing personal information offshore (PDF)

Offshore disclosure templates

The following templates can be used as necessary based on specific circumstances, as laid out in the guidance provided. The appropriate template should be selected based on the sensitivity and amount of personal information being disclosed; the nature of the relationship with the person/entity receiving the information; and the country the information is being sent to. See the guide above for more details, or seek direct advice as required.

Personal information posters

Verifying student identity

Advice on verifying student identity when providing personal information is available to University staff on request. Please contact:


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External resources

Office of the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner

The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner website, including general privacy information and advice, and free online privacy e-learning modules.

Privacy Act 2020

New Zealand’s main legislation on privacy of personal information, including 13 overarching information privacy principles.

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Privacy Officers

Privacy Officer

Mayhaka Mendis

Registrar (Acting)

Tel +64 3 479 8899

Deputy Privacy Officer

Richard White

Manager, Copyright and Open Access
Tel +64 3 479 9976

Employment-related privacy matters contact

Kevin Seales

Director, Human Resources
Tel +64 3 479 8267

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