Story: Freedom of official information

Bill Sutch: Official Secrets Act trial, 1974 (1st of 2)

Bill Sutch: Official Secrets Act trial, 1974

Before the passing of the Official Information Act 1982, the Official Secrets Act 1951 controlled the release of official information. In 1974 W. B. Sutch, a former head of the Department of Trade and Industry, was accused under the 1951 act of 'obtaining information that would be of use to an enemy'. This photo shows him arriving at the Wellington magistrates court in October 1974, with his wife, Shirley Smith, and his lawyer Mike Bungay (right). Sutch was acquitted of all charges.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP-1974-6745a-8a-f

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nicola White, 'Freedom of official information - From secrets to availability', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 July 2024)

Story by Nicola White, published 20 Jun 2012