Chief Ombudsman visits regions affected by recent extreme weather
The Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, travelled to regions affected by recent extreme weather events. He wanted to learn about the issues facing communities and grow awareness of services provided by the Ombudsman.
The targeted engagements covered Tairāwhiti and Hawkes Bay.
Mr Boshier who was born and educated in Gisborne was sad to see the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle in these two regions.
Over four days, the Ombudsman met with Iwi and council leaders, along with groups like Citizen’s Advice and Community Law in Gisborne, Wairoa, Napier and Hastings.
Mr Boshier says he expects complaints to rise.
“My primary role is to investigate complaints about the actions and decisions made by central and local government agencies that affect people in New Zealand, to ensure they are being treated fairly and with honour. I know from past experience that the number of complaints my office receives goes up in the months after civil defence emergencies.”
His visit was an opportunity to obtain first-hand information, which he will use to inform wider planning and his office’s strategic response.
He says one of his most important tasks was to make sure government and councils are responding to requests for official information according to the law.
Mr Boshier plans to travel further north to meet with more affected communities in the upcoming months.