Structure and teams.
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is supported by:
- Deputy Ombudsman Bridget Hewson
- Chief Legal Advisor Stuart McGilvray
- Chief Financial Officer Meaw-Fong Phang
- staff located in Auckland and Wellington.
Deputy Ombudsman Bridget Hewson is directly responsible to the Chief Ombudsman for the strategic direction and positioning of the Ombudsman New Zealand and ensuring the work, functions and performance outcomes expected by Parliament are delivered.
Five Assistant Ombudsmen report directly to her, in their management of the following groups:
- Strategy and Development Group
- Engagement Group
- Complaints Resolution Group
- Proactive Intervention and Monitoring Group
- Corporate Services.
These operations are supported by the Finance team, headed by Chief Financial Officer Meaw-Fong Phang, and the Legal team, headed by Chief Legal Advisor Stuart McGilvray.
Strategy and Development Group
Senior Assistant Ombudsman Emma Leach provides policy and practice leadership across all operational work undertaken by the Ombudsman New Zealand, including the design and development of new Ombudsman jurisdictions.
She also leads the Strategy and Development Group, made up of the following teams.
The Strategic Advice team provides strategic policy and practice advice, both within the Ombudsman’s offices and to external agencies and groups.
The Rōpū Māori Hononga Hapori (Māori and Community Engagement team) provides community engagement and outreach, supports Pūhara Mana Tangata and provides guidance for Te Ao Māori practice within the Ombudsman’s offices.
The Protected Disclosures team provides advice and receives and considers disclosures about serious wrongdoing.
Assistant Ombudsman Alex Schröder leads the Engagement Group, which helps foster the Chief Ombudsman’s relationships with groups both domestically and internationally.
The Learning and Agency Development team provides training to Ombudsman staff and external agencies, as well as guidance for external agencies.
The Communications team looks after media, publications, design and the website.
The International Development and Engagement team works across Asia and the Pacific to support and learn from other Ombudsmen.
The Disability Rights team helps make sure disabled people in New Zealand are treated fairly and supports the Chief Ombudsman as part of New Zealand’s Independent Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Complaints Resolution Group
Assistant Ombudsman Chloe Longdin-Prisk leads the Complaints Resolution Group, which investigates and resolves complaints about government agencies’ administrative and official information decisions by local and central government agencies, including Oranga Tamariki and its care or custody providers.
The Intake and Early Assistance team is the first point of contact for anyone with a query or complaint.
The Early Resolution teams work to resolve complaints without a formal investigation, where possible.
The Investigations and Resolution teams conduct complex and more formal investigations.
The Children in Care Complaints team handles complaints from, and about, children in care.
Proactive Intervention and Monitoring Group
Assistant Ombudsman Zoey Henley leads the Proactive Intervention and Monitoring Group, which focuses on monitoring, analysing and proactively intervening when significant and system-wide issues appear to be arising within agencies subject to the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
The OPCAT Inspection teams support the Ombudsman’s role under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to monitor and inspect places of detention to ensure people are treated humanely.
The Systemic Improvement Monitoring and Resolution team identify and assess matters of possible concern and proactively intervene in order to achieve improvement across the public sector and seek early resolution, where possible.
The Official Information Practice Investigations team focuses on proactively investigating government agencies’ official information structures, practices and procedures.
The Systemic Improvement Investigations team conduct proactive investigations into public sector administration and decision-making.
Assistant Ombudsman Michelle King leads the Corporate Services Group, which provides advice and support for the work of the Ombudsman through its people and capability, business services, information and knowledge management, data analytics, information and communications technology and security. Project management support is a recent offering.
The People and Capability team look after the human resources function, including recruitment services, learning and development, health and safety, organisation design and culture.
The Business Services team look after the day-to-day running of the offices, including reception and administrative services, facilities management, accommodation, and external contractors, suppliers and service providers.
The Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) team look after the Ombudsman’s information, data and research services.
The Information Communications Technology (ICT) team look after the Ombudsman’s ICT and systems operations and infrastructure, including business analysis and technology support.
The Security team look after all aspects of protective security for the office.