What we do

Ā mātou mahi

On this page

The Ombudsman handles complaints about and investigates the administrative conduct of public sector agencies, including inofficial information requests.

They also carry out a range of roles that go toward protecting your rights, such as monitoring places of detention, and implementing the UN Disabilities Convention. 

They provide advice, guidance and training to public sector agencies, and promote awareness of their role to the wider community.

What we do in 2 minutes

This video explains the role of the New Zealand Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman helps people deal with central and local government in New Zealand.

We handle complaints about government agencies, seek resolution and carry out investigations and inspections.

We give feedback and guidance to agencies to help them improve, and initiate wider investigations where we see the need.

The Ombudsman is independent from both government and the public.

We have five main jobs:

1. Fair treatment by government agencies. If you think you have been treated badly by a government agency, and you aren’t happy with their response to your complaint, we might be able to help you.

2. Official information requests. You can ask for information from a government agency or a Minister. If you’re unhappy with the response to your information request, you can complain to us.

3. Listening to reports of serious wrongdoing. If you think someone at your workplace (at a public or private organisation) has done something very wrong, you can talk to us. This is called whistleblowing or making a protected disclosure.

4. Monitoring places of detention. We monitor places of detention such as prisons and mental health facilities, to make sure they are looking after people in the right way.

5. Making sure disabled people are treated fairly. We make sure the government is making the rights in the Disability Convention real for disabled people.

You can find out more about what we do on our website:
ombudsman.parliament.nz

Protecting your rights

We don't just investigate complaints. The Ombudsman has a range of other roles that go toward protecting your rights and ensuring you are being treated fairly.

Serious wrongdoing at work (whistleblowing)

Monitoring places of detention

Fair treatment for disabled people

Improve fairness for all

We also provide advice and guidance, offer training to public sector agencies, conduct outreach activities and speaking engagements and work closely with our international counterparts.

Advice and training

Resources for agencies

Our legislation

The powers and functions of the Ombudsman are contained in five main pieces of legislation.

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