Who is the Ombudsman?
There are two: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier and Ombudsman Leo Donnelly.
Peter Boshier is Chief Ombudsman for New Zealand. He was appointed in December 2015 following a distinguished career as a Judge.
Born and educated in Gisborne, Peter 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.
In 2004 he was appointed as the Principal Family Court Judge of New Zealand and held that position until December 2012 when he was appointed a Law Commissioner, a position he held until his appointment as Chief Ombudsman.
He has served on the government’s Family Violence Taskforce. He is Patron of the White Ribbon Trust and Patron of the Dwell Community Housing Trust in Wellington.
In 2009 he was made a distinguished alumnus of the Victoria University of Wellington for his contribution to the law.
Peter has a long association with Pacific judicial issues and was seconded to undertake judicial training there, based in Suva in 2002 and 2003. He has travelled regularly to Pacific Island countries to undertake workshops on the subjects of family violence and youth justice. He holds the Samoan Matai title of Misa which was bestowed in 2000.
In July 2015, he became 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 did so until July 2016.
As Chief Ombudsman, Peter’s focus has been on a faster and more effective resolution of Official Information Act and other complaints, working with government agencies to improve their practices and strengthening his team’s investigation and monitoring of prisons and public mental health facilities.
On 30 June 2016, the House of Representatives recommended
the temporary appointment of Mr Leo Michael Donnelly as an Ombudsman for a term of one year commencing on 1 August 2016.
The House of Representatives has extended Mr Donnelly's appointment under a new warrant until 30 June 2018.
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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