May 4, 2016
We have today published a media release on a decision by the Department of Corrections to undertake a case review of the management of a prisoner at Auckland’s maximum security prison.
April 21, 2016
Ombudsman Ron Paterson has today published a case note about an investigation into a decision by a DHB to invoice a patient approximately $100,000, without notice, for elective surgery he had received. The patient was ineligible for public funding for the surgery, as his lawful immigration status had lapsed without his knowledge. The Ombudsman discontinued the investigation after the DHB waived the charge, apologised to the patient, and agreed to strengthen its processes to ensure ineligible patients are not provided with elective surgery.
April 19, 2016
We have today published an opinion by the former Chief Ombudsman on an investigation into the refusal by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to release information concerning the peer review by the Bureau of Meteorology (Australia) of a NIWA report on temperature trends in New Zealand. The information was appropriately withheld under section 9(2)(ba)(i), due to an obligation of confidence arising under a convention that scientific peer reviews are conducted confidentially.
April 12, 2016
We've updated our guidance on requester eligibility under the OIA.
March 17, 2016
A new case note has been published today setting out the reasons for sustaining a decision by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to withhold information concerning the award of a knighthood to Sir Paul Collins. Former Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem formed the opinion that, whilst there was a public interest in disclosure of certain information concerning the process by which nominations were considered, this interest could be met by release of a summary of that particular information as well as the investiture information already in the public domain. No public interest was considered to exist sufficient to outweigh the interest to be protected (privacy, maintenance of constitutional conventions on confidentiality of communications and advice and free and frank expression of opinion).
March 11, 2016
Ombudsman Ron Paterson has today published a case note about the decision of the Health and Disability Commissioner to withhold the names of DHBs from a table showing the rate of complaints to HDC about DHBs over a six-month period. The case note outlines the reasons for making this information publicly available and notes HDC's agreement to release it. You can read the case note here.
March 9, 2016
Read our new guide to official information requests made online
New Ombudsman opinion - legal professional privilege outweighed by significant public interest in release of information
March 7, 2016
Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier has today published an opinion concerning the decision by the Ministry of Health to withhold two legal opinions concerning the interpretation of a key statutory term in the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004. Judge Boshier found that, in this case, although the information was certainly subject to legal professional privilege, this was outweighed by the significant public interest in release of the information to the requester.
February 26, 2016
The Summer edition of the Ombudsman Quarterly Review is now available.
February 22, 2016
The Chief Ombudsman has today released a Case Note on a complaint about a request for a text message sent to the Prime Minister relating to pony tail pulling incidents at Rosie Cafe. The Chief Ombudsman formed the opinion that there is no blanket protection for the 'off the record' communications and that, even if confidentiality had applied, the public interest in release in this instance outweighed any need to withhold the information under the OIA.
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