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  • Report on an unannounced inspection of Whanganui Prison - 4 September 2018

    OPCAT reports
    The following report has been prepared in my capacity as a National Preventive Mechanism under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989 (COTA). My function under the COTA is to examine and make any recommendations that I consider appropriate to improve the treatment and conditions of detained persons in a number of places of detention, including prisons. This report examines the treatment and conditions of persons detained in Whanganui Prison.
  • Request for information about staff grievances and allegations of bullying

    Opinions
    Sam Sherwood, on behalf of Stuff, made a request to Selwyn District Council for information about staff grievances and allegations of bullying.
  • Report on an unannounced follow-up inspection of Christchurch Women's Prison - 4 April 2018

    OPCAT reports
    In 2007, the Ombudsmen were designated one of the National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) under the Crimes of Torture Act (COTA), with responsibility for examining and monitoring the general conditions and treatment of detainees in New Zealand prisons.
  • Report on an unannounced inspection of Arohata Upper Prison - 21 March 2018

    OPCAT reports
    The Upper Prison was facing considerable challenges. Resources, infrastructure and staffing were under pressure, which was compounded by the geographical separation from the administrative centre at Tawa. Day-to-day operating systems and arrangements for dealing with women were not fully embedded. Reception and induction processes were poor, and information for foreign prisoners was not available. Significant delays in access to personal property were a source of frustration for many women, reflected in the growing number of complaints and misconducts.
  • Department of Corrections staff to follow legislative requirements when segregating inmate

    Case notes
    Department of Corrections held prisoner in Management Unit without following required procedure—segregation legislation and regulations are clear and prescriptive
  • Request for communications between Minister of SOEs and other parties in respect of policy announcement about TVNZ

    Case notes
    Request for communications between Minister of SOEs and other parties in respect of policy announcement about TVNZ—information at issue comprised oral communications with Cabinet colleagues preceding policy announcement—withholding necessary to protect constitutional convention protecting collective and individual ministerial responsibility
  • Request for Defence Force National Real Estate Review

    Case notes
    Request for Defence Force National Real Estate Review—information withheld on basis of need to protect confidentiality of advice—report prepared by external consultants and submitted to Minister—information not advice tendered by officials—recommendation that report be released—report released with contextual statement
  • Department of Corrections should explain reasons for declining application to be excused from PD reporting

    Case notes
    Refusal of application to be excused from reporting for periodic detention—incomplete explanation given at the time—reasons and apology provided—Criminal Justice Act 1985, s 41(3)
  • Department of Corrections required to advise decision on day parole application

    Case notes
    Failure to advise inmate of decision on application for day parole—prison administration expected inmate to ask Case officer for outcome—responsibility for advising the outcome of a request/application normally rests with decision-maker—internal procedures changed to reflect normal practice
  • Department of Corrections reasonably held inmate in segregation

    Case notes
    Unreasonable placement of inmate on precautionary segregation—written material found in his cell which reflected on the safety of prison staff—placement not deemed unreasonable
  • Request for Police review on importation of firearms

    Case notes
    Request for access to Police review on importation of firearms—release of recommendations would undermine s 9(2)(f)(iv) but not the release of background information—public interest in disclosure outweighs need to withhold recommendations—issue of firearms control is one in which the principle of public safety is paramount—greatest possible transparency required in the making of laws and policies
  • Request for advice to Government on producer board reform

    Case notes
    Request for advice to Government on producer board reform—paper dated December 1988—constitutional conventions—whether still under consideration in May 1999—whether disclosure would interfere with policy making—ss 9(2)(f)(iv) and 9(2)(g)(i)—public interest balancing—participation and accountability