How to access data for your research

How to apply for research access from the Research and Data Access Committee (RADA).

Requesting research access

Oranga Tamariki regularly receives research access requests. We have a role in helping to enable research that contributes to improving the lives of all Aotearoa New Zealanders, particularly those involved with Oranga Tamariki. However, we must carefully consider these requests given the ethical and statutory duty of care the Ministry has for clients and kaimahi and their information.

How RADA works

The Research and Data Access Committee (RADA) at Oranga Tamariki considers research access requests. RADA meets every 6 weeks to assess and determine research access. RADA is also the contact for any research access enquiry.

Research access requests are formal applications seeking access to personal information (held by Oranga Tamariki) for research purposes. The Privacy Act 1993 describes personal information as information about an identifiable individual.

Formal applications for research access must be submitted for those who want to:

  • contact Oranga Tamariki clients or kaimahi, current or past
  • access personal information about clients or kaimahi, current or past.

RADA does not consider requests by individuals for their own personal information. For more information on requests by individuals, see the Contact us page.

Contact us

RADA also does not consider non-personal information requests about Oranga Tamariki activity (aggregate data) or Official Information Act requests. For more information on these requests see the Official Information Act request page.

Official Information Act requests

Who can apply

Applying for research access is open to Aotearoa New Zealand-based researchers or international researchers with a New Zealand-based affiliation. This includes:

  • wānanga or university-based researchers
  • post-graduate research students
  • international visiting researchers
  • Oranga Tamariki kaimahi undertaking research as part of their academic studies
  • researchers employed by government agencies (other than Oranga Tamariki)
  • commercial researchers.

The approval process


  • Before submission, research applications must have full ethics committee approval from a recognised ethics committee.
  • If a research access application is approved, successful research applicants are required to undertake a safety check and sign a confidentiality agreement. These will be forwarded to the applicant and need to be completed before research access can proceed.

How we assess applications

  • Requests for research access are considered primarily in terms of the potential impact on clients, kaimahi and effective operations.
  • We also consider the significance of the research to Oranga Tamariki and the likely quality of the proposed research given the proposed design, methodology and experience of the researcher/s.
  • We assess whether the proposed research demonstrates an understanding of the sensitivity of the access, and whether issues of privacy, security of data, consent, and impact issues are adequately addressed.

How long it takes

  • The approval process takes between 8 to 12 weeks after all documentation is received. Some applications may take longer if there are questions or issues with the application.

How to apply

Submit the completed application form and documentation by email to RADA at

Some examples of appropriate documentation include:

  • Consent forms and information sheets for the research
  • Full ethics committee approval confirmation letter
  • The completed ethics committee application form
  • Letters of support for the research.

Hard-copies by mail will not be accepted unless by prior agreement.

It is advisable to contact RADA before submitting an application to ensure that it is best prepared to consider your request.

Additional contact information

Phone: +64 (0)4 916 3300

Postal address:

The Research and Data Access Committee
Oranga Tamariki
PO Box 546
New Zealand

Published: May 28, 2019 · Updated: August 16, 2023