Who is the Ombudsman?
There are currently two: Dame Beverley Wakem DNZM CBE and Professor Ron Paterson.
Dame Beverley Wakem DNZM CBE
Dame Beverley was appointed Ombudsman on 1 March 2005 and Chief Ombudsman on 23 April 2008.
Dame Beverley’s background is in broadcasting, public relations, and consulting for both the public and private sectors. Her broadcasting career culminated in her appointment as Chief Executive of Radio New Zealand in 1984 – a post she held until 1991. During this period Dame Beverley was also President of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union.
In 1991, Dame Beverley was appointed Commercial Director for Wrightson Limited, then a fully owned subsidiary of Fletcher Challenge Limited. In 1992, she became the company’s General Manager of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs.
From 1996 to 1997, Dame Beverley was Executive Chairman of Hill & Knowlton New Zealand, and in September 1997 she was appointed by the Government to the Higher Salaries Commission (now the Remuneration Authority). She was reappointed to that body in 2001 and again in 2004, until her appointment as Ombudsman.
Dame Beverley was awarded a CBE in 1990 for services to broadcasting and the community. In 2012, she was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the State (DNZM).
In October 2010, Dame Beverley was appointed President of the International Ombudsman Institute. She is the first woman and the third New Zealand Ombudsman to hold this position.
Professor Ron Paterson
Ron Paterson was appointed an Ombudsman on 4 June 2013.
Prior to his taking up Office as an Ombudsman, Ron was a Professor of Law at the University of Auckland and New Zealand Health and Disability Commissioner from 2000-2010.
With law degrees from Auckland and Oxford Universities, Ron has held Fulbright and Harkness Fellowships.
He has researched and lectured in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, and is an international expert on complaints, healthcare quality and the regulation of health professions.
Ron is co-editor of the textbook Medical Law in New Zealand (2006) and author of The Good Doctor: What Patients Want (2012).
He has previously held positions as Chairman of the New Zealand Banking Ombudsman Scheme and as a member of the Board of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.