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Privacy Policy

National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) is a Crown Research Institute operating under the Crown Research Institutes Act 1992 and the Crown Entities Act 2004.  Amongst other legislation, NIWA is subject to the Privacy Act 1993 and the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA).

Scope and purpose

This privacy policy applies to any personal and other information that NIWA collects through this website, or any other ancillary NIWA website (collectively, the Website). 

The purpose of this policy is to set out the basis upon which NIWA collects, stores, manages and archives personal and other related information. NIWA may make changes to this privacy policy at any time by notifying Users of the existence of a revised policy by updating the “last updated” notice on this page. By continuing to use the Website, Users agree to be bound by the amended privacy policy. Users should check from time to time to see if the privacy policy has changed.

Collection of personal information

NIWA collects personal information about a user of the Website (User) including:

  • Name;
  • Address;
  • Telephone number;
  • Email address;
  • Occupation;
  • Organisation; and/or
  • Industry.

Any or all such personal information may be collected directly from a User when that User:

  • Registers to use the Website;
  • Emails an enquiry;
  • Adds a comment to any of NIWA’s social network accounts;
  • Registers for an event;
  • Subscribes to NIWA’s news feeds;
  • Gives feedback;
  • Lodges a complaint; and/or
  • Makes an OIA request.

If a User does not provide the necessary personal information when requested, that User may not be able to access and/or use certain functions of the Website.

NIWA also collects non-identifiable information about Users’ interaction with NIWA’s information technology systems.  This includes use of the Website and web services and emails sent to/from NIWA’s information technology systems.

NIWA uses Google Analytics to analyse web traffic based on specific behaviour, demographic, and interest data. NIWA may collect statistical information about visits to the Website, including:

  • IP addresses (masked);
  • search terms used;
  • pages accessed from the Website and clicks on links;
  • dates and times at which the Website is accessed;
  • the referring site (if any) through which the Website is accessed;
  • operating systems (e.g. Windows, Mac OS X); and
  • web browsers (e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge, Google Chrome or Apple Safari).

The data collected is aggregated and is not personally identifiable.  IP addresses are masked so that they cannot be used to identify individuals and analytics will also respect any “do not track” settings on web browsers.

Use of personal information

Any information collected by NIWA may be used for the following purposes:

  • administering and/or improving the Website;
  • improving NIWA’s services;
  • market research and data analysis;
  • communicating with Users;
  • investigating and/or responding to a User’s complaint or enquiry;
  • future marketing, promotional and publicity purposes;
  • to provide further information to Users about other websites and services that NIWA considers may be of interest to Users; and/or
  • such other use as a User authorises.

Disclosure of personal information

NIWA will only share personal information with other companies or individuals in the following limited circumstances:

  • to any third-party contractor to the extent necessary for that third-party contractor to achieve any of the purposes listed above on NIWA’s behalf;
  • where NIWA has the User’s consent;
  • to improve cyber security;
  • if NIWA believes giving the information will help prevent or resolve fraud, money laundering, unauthorised access to or attacks on NIWA’s information technology systems or other crimes.  NIWA may give this information even if the User is not involved in malicious activity; and
  • to comply with law in New Zealand or overseas.

Storage of personal information

NIWA will take all reasonable steps, and maintain processes, to prevent unauthorised access to, or use of, the personal and other information NIWA collects. In most cases, NIWA uses the HTTPS protocol for secure communication of NIWA pages over the Internet.

Any personal information provided to NIWA will be collected and held by, or on behalf of, NIWA at NIWA Wellington, 301 Evans Bay Parade, Hataitai and/or at cloud providers or data centres used by NIWA (NIWA may use cloud providers or data centres (whether in New Zealand or overseas), to manage and store personal and other information it collects, and will ensure that any storage on such a platform provides adequate security measures).

Use of cookies

A cookie is a piece of data stored on a User’s computer or other device tied to non-personal information about the User. NIWA uses cookies to store a User’s preferences, to record session information, and where they are required for particular features of the Website to work. Users can disable cookies in their web browser settings and/or delete them from their computer’s hard drive. Users do not need to have cookies turned on to use the Website, but some online services, features or functions of the Website may not function properly if the cookies are turned off.

Links to social networking services

NIWA uses social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and other blog hosting websites to communicate with the public about NIWA’s work.  When Users interact with NIWA via these services, the social networking services may collect Users’ personal information for their own purposes. These services may track Users’ use of the Website on those pages where their links are displayed.  If a User is logged in to those services (including any Google services) while using the Website, their tracking will be associated with that User’s profile with those services.

Such services have their own privacy policies which Users should read.

Your rights and choices

Upon request, NIWA will provide Users with access to any information held about them.  If such information is inaccurate, NIWA will correct it.  To contact NIWA for access or correction please see our contact details.  Users can also ask to be removed from any of NIWA’s subscription lists at any time.


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