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  • Corrections unreasonable not to pay for inmate’s glasses for re-integration programme

    Case notes
    Long serving prison inmate required glasses to participate in reintegration programme and work in prison tailor shop—Department of Corrections refused to pay for glasses unless inmate would refund them through his prison earnings—inmate later found out Department had paid for another inmate’s glasses in full—Ombudsman sustained complaint that inmate was not treated fairly—refund to inmate of money paid recommended.
  • Auckland International Airport unreasonable to issue Trespass Notice

    Case notes
    Auckland International Airport Ltd—Trespass Notice to shuttle driver unreasonable and unjust—penalty imposed by airport out of proportion in relation to offence
  • Land Information New Zealand entitled to sell property previously available for buy-back

    Case notes
    Claim as successors for the offer-back of a disused school site—Ombudsman not wholly satisfied with some aspects of the process adopted by LINZ, but concluded that claimants could not fall within the statutory definition of ‘successor’
  • Transpower New Zealand’s refusal to consent to construction not unreasonable

    Case notes
    Complaint about refusal of Transpower New Zealand Ltd to allow building on property over which it had easement—Transpower refused consent—Ombudsman found its actions not unreasonable
  • Investigation of the Department of Corrections in relation to the detention and treatment of prisoners

    Systemic investigations
    Under the Ombudsmen Act 1975, it is a function of the Ombudsmen to investigate complaints relating to matters of administration affecting persons in their personal capacity against various bodies, including the Department of Corrections (the Department). Pursuant to this Act, the Ombudsmen have power to investigate complaints by prisoners about all aspects of their detention by the Department. At the end of 2004 serious issues related to the treatment of prisoners came to public attention.
  • Landcorp fails to monitor survey of land for sale

    Case notes
    Lessee of Crown land given opportunity to purchase it freehold in 1996 from Landcorp—a review of title revealed land had been surveyed to exclude all internal waterways used by lessee for his salmon and trout farms and problem discovered too late for exemptions under Conservation Act—the consequences of survey effectively confiscated farms and lessee complained to Ombudsman that Landcorp’s failure to monitor survey allowed issuance of title for an unviable property—Ombudsman reviewed circumstances and agreed Landcorp should have ensured it was informed of survey progress—its failure to monitor meant Landcorp could not take more effective measures to overcome title issues and land subsequently not fit for sale—view formed that Landcorp’s sale was unreasonable—Landcorp disagreed with view but agreed to make ex-gratia payment to complainant
  • Crown Research Institute’s publication on nicotine in tobacco inadequate

    Case notes
    Publication of research data subsequently found to be flawed—notice of research results to interested parties—adequacy of subsequent retraction—inclusion of contextual material with media release—relationship between an Ombudsman's jurisdiction and issues involving scientific techniques and the course of research—matter of administration—Ombudsmen Act 1975, s 13
  • Community Funding Authority changes decision to reduce funds for service organisation following complaint

    Case notes
    Decision-making process in respect of allocation of funding by Community Funding Authority to service provider not transparent—failure to conform to formal notice requirements in relation to a reduction in funding—failure to follow correct procedures in review of funding decision
  • Museum of New Zealand display ‘virgin in condom’ allowed under legislation

    Case notes
    Decision to display art exhibition—offence given by some items—statutory functions and duties of Museum—Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992, ss 4, 7(j), 8(b) and 8(c)—Ombudsmen Act 1975, s 13
  • Department of Conservation resolves impasse concerning ivory-key piano held by New Zealand Customs

    Case notes
    Refusal to release piano imported from United Kingdom—family heirloom from 1920s—need for approval of Department of Conservation under CITES because of ivory content—conflict between New Zealand legislation implementing CITES and European Community Regulations—impasse resolved by acceptance of statutory declaration by family—conflict to be raised with CITES Secretariat
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) resolves complaint informally following Ombudsman’s inquiries

    Case notes
    Document missing from complainant’s property file and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) unreasonably delayed deciding the replacement and responsibility for cost thereof—following the Ombudsman’s inquiries, the matter was able to be resolved informally by LINZ – Land Transfer Act 1952, section 172—the case demonstrates that many complaints can be resolved by informal intervention