Who is the Ombudsman?
There are two: Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier and Ombudsman Leo Donnelly.
Judge Peter Boshier
Judge Boshier began his term as Chief Ombudsman on 10 December 2015.
Prior to this, Judge Boshier was a Law Commissioner with the New Zealand Law Commission and was also a Family Court Judge.
He was born and educated in Gisborne and attended Victoria University of Wellington, obtaining a Bachelor of Laws with Honours
Degree in 1975. After a period of practice in Wellington he was appointed as a District Court Judge with a specialist Family Court warrant in 1988.
Judge Boshier has a long association with Pacific judicial issues and was seconded to undertake judicial training there, based in Suva in 2002 and 2003. Judge Boshier travels regularly to Pacific Island countries to undertake workshops on the subject of family violence and youth justice. He holds the Samoan Matai title of Misa which was bestowed in 2000.
In 2004 Judge Boshier was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand and held that position until December 2012. During that time, Judge Boshier served on the Government’s Family Violence Taskforce. He is now Chair of the White Ribbon Advisory Committee, Patron of the White Ribbon Trust and undertakes a variety of family violence projects each year.
In 2009 Judge Boshier was made a distinguished alumnis of the Victoria University of Wellington for his contribution to the law.
Judge Boshier is the President of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts based in the United States. He is the first New Zealander to hold this position and does so until July 2016.
Judge Boshier is Patron of the Dwell Community Housing Trust in Wellington.
On 30 June 2016, the House of Representatives recommended the temporary appointment of Mr Leo Michael Donnelly as an Ombudsman for a term of 1 year commencing on 1 August 2016.
After working initially for the Parliamentary Counsel Office, Mr Donnelly joined the Office of the Ombudsman in 1985 as an investigating officer in the then newly established Official Information Act section of the Office. He was appointed Senior Investigating Officer of the official information section in 1990 and Assistant Ombudsman in November 1996.
In September 2004, Mr Donnelly was appointed to the newly established position of Deputy Ombudsman. In his role as Deputy Ombudsman Investigations and Inspections, he has assisted the New Zealand Ombudsmen in carrying out their functions under the Ombudsmen Act, the Official Information Act, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, the Protected Disclosures Act and the Crimes of Torture Act.
Mr Donnelly has written papers and addressed seminars both in New Zealand and overseas on issues relating to procedural fairness, good administrative practice, and the operation of New Zealand’s official information legislation and its interaction with public records legislation.
Mr Donnelly was born and educated in Wellington. He attended Victoria University of Wellington obtaining a Bachelor of Laws degree and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1981.
Mr Donnelly has had a life time involvement in the sport of Karate as an accomplished athlete, coach and administrator at national and international level. He currently holds the rank of 6th Dan black belt and is General Secretary of the Oceania and Commonwealth Karate Federations.
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