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Chief Ombudsman launches online learning tool Te Puna Mātauranga

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The Chief Ombudsman has launched a new online learning platform for people in the public sector who deal with official information or want to know more about it.

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said the main aim of the platform – Te Puna Mātauranga – is to help staff at public sector agencies to develop their official information practice skills.

Go to Te Puna Mātauranga

“I’ve been talking to agencies for some time about brushing up on their understanding of the Official Information Act (OIA) and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA). I thought I’d do something practical to help.”

Mr Boshier said there are staff and managers from around 4,000 organisations, including central government, local councils, and school boards, who can make good use of Te Puna Mātauranga.

“There are no course fees or subscriptions. You will just need to head to our website and click on the link which will take you through to Te Puna Mātauranga.”

The platform is designed to be easy to use and allows learners to work at their own pace.

There are three courses available, The OIA for Ministers and Agencies, The LGOIMA for Local Government Agencies, and Managing Unreasonable Complainant Conduct.

“Each course is divided into several online modules so you don’t have to do everything at once.”

The OIA and LGOIMA courses offer an overview of the legislation and what agencies need to do when they’re managing official information requests.

Mr Boshier said the Unreasonable Complainant Conduct course is being offered due to demand.

“Agencies often ask me about dealing with complainants who behave in a challenging way. This course provides some guiding principles and strategies to help handle this behaviour.

“After finishing each course, you can download a Certificate of Completion. It’s proof of a job well done.”

Mr Boshier said while three courses are offered now, more courses will be added in the future.

“We provide a survey at the end of each course for people to provide their feedback.”

Te Puna Mātauranga offers a solid foundation but if agencies want to learn more about OIA or LGOIMA practice, they can reach out to the Ombudsman for targeted learning.

“I have a dedicated Learning and Agency Development Team. They offer training in person or provide online workshops. The team is also available to give general advice on official information issues.”

You can contact the Learning and Agency Development team at [email protected]

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