Uni emails come at a cost

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - AARON LEAMAN

Auck­land Univer­sity is re­fus­ing to re­lease 202 emails dis­cussing a pro­posed Waikato med­i­cal school - un­less it’s paid $570.

The heads of Auck­land and Otago’s med­i­cal schools have been vo­cal in ex­press­ing con­cern about the Waikato pro­posal and in March pitched a ri­val bid to cre­ate a na­tional school of ru­ral health.

Auck­land Univer­sity dean of med­i­cal and health sci­ences Pro­fes­sor John Fraser pre­vi­ously la­belled the Waikato pro­posal ‘‘an ill-con­sid­ered and ex­pen­sive folly’’.

De­spite such vo­cal crit­i­cism, Auck­land Univer­sity is prov­ing less forth­com­ing about re­leas­ing cor­re­spon­dence dis­cussing the pro­posed third med­i­cal school.

In March, Stuff lodged a re­vised Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest for all emails gen­er­ated by Auck­land Univer­sity med­i­cal pro­gramme head Pro­fes­sor War­wick Bagg dis­cussing the Waikato med school pro­posal.

In re­ply, Auck­land Univer­sity act­ing gen­eral coun­sel Me­lanie John­son said the re­quested in­for­ma­tion couldn’t be made avail­able.

A fee would first have to be paid if Stuff wanted the in­for- ma­tion re­leased.

‘‘We es­ti­mate that the charge will be $570: this charge re­lates to the time re­quired by Pro­fes­sor Bagg to search his email ac­count for the emails in ques­tion.’’

Time would be charged to make the in­for­ma­tion avail­able.

Auck­land Univer­sity has re­fused to re­lease 202 emails.

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