April 23, 2014
The Chief Ombudsman has expressed concern to a select committee about a provision in the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill. Clause 275B vests absolute power in the government to restrict access to certain information on a register of information on the seismic capacity of buildings, which is inconsistent with the principles of the Official Information Act. You can read her submission here.
April 15, 2014
The Chief Ombudsman has expressed her considerable concern with a clause in the Environmental Reporting Bill in a submission to a select committee. Clause 16 of the Bill gives the Secretary for the Environment and Government Statistician absolute power to suppress access to information to be used in a state of the environment report. This clause is supreme and so overrides an Ombudsman's ability to access information. The Chief Ombudsman has urged the committee to remove the clause. You can read her submission here.
April 2, 2014
The Chief Ombudsman has released her opinion on a complaint about the Health and Disability Commissioner's assessment process. Dame Beverley Wakem found deficiencies in the complaint assessment process, in providing the complainant with a reasonable opportunity to comment, and in communicating the decision not to investigate the matter. You can read the full opinion here.
March 27, 2014
A large-scale investigation involving over 1000 school Boards of Trustees in breach of their obligations under the OIA is to close.
February 28, 2014
The Summer edition of the Ombudsman Quarterly Review is now available.
February 21, 2014
We record with sadness the passing of our colleague Richard John Fisher. Richard had worked for the Office of the Ombudsman for 25 years and managed our Auckland office with distinction. He was an exceptional leader and demonstrated great care and concern for the ordinary New Zealander battling administrative injustice, as well as helping government agencies to improve their performance when warranted. He will be greatly missed.
February 17, 2014
The Ombudsman has released his opinion that the public interest requires release of the majority of the statement given by John Banks to the Police. The statement relates to alleged irregularities in electoral funding donations for the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election. Information from the statement will be released on the Ombudsman’s recommendation, but only after the relevant court proceedings have been concluded, to protect Mr Banks’ right to a fair trial. You can read Professor Paterson’s opinion here.
February 12, 2014
The Ombudsman has released his opinion on a complaint about the investigation process followed by the New Zealand Teachers Council. Professor Paterson found that the process was characterised by unreasonable delays, lack of clarity and poor communication. You can read the full opinion here.
December 19, 2013
The Chief Ombudsman has released her joint report with the Privacy Commissioner on EQC's compliance with its obligations under the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act when responding to requests for information from its Canterbury customers. You can view the full report here and the joint media release here.
December 12, 2013
The Human Rights Commission has just released its annual report on the activities of National Preventative Mechanisms (NPMs) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. Under the Crimes of Torture Act NPMs are responsible for monitoring the conditions of places of detention to improve the treatment of detainees and prevent torture. The Human Rights Commission is the Central NPM and responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the NPMs, being the Ombudsman, the Children's Commissioner, the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Inspector of Service Penal Establishments. The Ombudsman is the designated NPM for prisons, secure mental health facilities, immigration detention facilities and child and youth residences and has had a busy year of monitoring activities. The report is available to read here.
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