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Help with documents

This website provides publication and documents in a number of file formats including PDFs, Microsoft Office, RTF, and ZIP files. This page provides information and advice about these files.

PDFs (portable document files)

This website provides publications and documents in portable document file (PDF) format. To read and print PDF files you'll need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader, which is available free from the Adobe website.

Some documents provided as PDF only

We occasionally publish documents on our website in PDF only. This is usually because the document:

  • is old and we don't have another source of it
  • was generated outside the Ministry and we don't have it in a more accessible format
  • must be published urgently and we will backfill with a web version as soon as we can.

Alternative access options (such as print or CD) will be detailed on the relevant page. If you have difficulty in accessing these documents please contact with the details and we will endeavour to help you.

PDFs won't display?

Sometimes people try to open PDFs from our website and get the error message "The file is damaged and could not be repaired".

We've found that this error is most likely to happen when opening a new-format PDF with an old-format reader. That means our first suggestion when this happens is to upgrade your PDF reader, for instance by going to the Adobe website.

If this doesn't work or isn't an option for you, please contact us to discuss other ways of getting the information in the document to you.

Information held on external websites

When linking to information on other websites we endeavour to link to standard web pages. If this is not possible we may link directly to a PDF or Word document. These links will include the document format and file size in the link text.

Microsoft Office documents

Some documents on this website have been created using Microsoft products.

If you don't have this software, you can download free viewers from Microsoft that allow you to read the documents.

You can also view them using Open Office [Open Office website].

Formatting issues with Word 2010

If you experience formatting issues when viewing Microsoft Word 2010 versions online you might prefer to switch to the PDF version of the document. However, if you wish to use the Word version, please save the document to your desktop before opening it. When you open it, press 'enable editing' at the prompt and the document should then display properly.

If you continue to experience difficulties, email, including the link to the page you're having problems with, so we can monitor the issue and try to resolve it.

RTF files

Some documents on this site are provided as rich text format (RTF) files. RTF is an accessible format that can be opened with almost any word processing software and on almost any operating system.

ZIP files

Some documents on this site are ZIP files. These have been compressed to reduce their file size and the time they take to download. Multiple files can be stored within a single ZIP file, each individually compressed for easier retrieval and quicker download.

You need to extract (unzip) the files to view them. If you have the most current versions of Windows and Apple software you will normally be able to extract the files as they are downloaded. Alternatively, you can download free software to extract ZIP files, including Info-ZIP [Info-ZIP website].