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  • Charge for the supply of information about Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito Eradication Programme

    Case notes
    Unreasonable to increase charge that had already been fixed and agreed by the requester.
  • Annual Report 2008/2009

    Annual reports
    In order to fulfil our legislative mandate and to manage our work programme more efficiently and effectively, we have reorganised the Office into targeted teams (see p 12). An advisory group has been established to support the Ombudsmen and Deputy Ombudsman. This will strengthen consistency in Ombudsmen decisions, uniformity of professional practice, and provide a more rigorous quality assurance over the Office output. It will also assist in our goal to widen our focus from individual complaints to a closer analysis of systemic administrative failings of which the complaints may be symptomatic.
  • Charge for supply of information about Treaty claim over three year period

    Case notes
    No remission of charge in the public interest or due to hardship
  • Request for Hazardous Activities and Industries List

    Opinions
    On 4 September 2008 Mr Sharpe sought from the Council “details of the 3099 ‘Unverified HAIL’ sites in the region, i.e. their location and the activity/industry that are known to have the potential to cause land contamination”.
  • Request for draft agreement to investigate, construct and operate a windfarm

    Case notes
    Releasing draft agreement would damage the relationship between the Council and the company, and make it more difficult for the Council to conclude the negotiations successfully—s 7(2)(i) applies
  • Request for public submissions on draft standard

    Case notes
    Members of the public with a vested interest in developing standards would not be deterred from expressing their opinions in future
  • Request for charitable trust’s funding application

    Case notes
    Trust does not have a commercial position—even if it did, release of the information would not be likely unreasonably to prejudice it—the trust has no competitors, and is very different to other organisations in terms of its size, nature of operations and services¬—s 9(2)(b)(ii) does not apply
  • Statement of Intent 2009/12

    Strategic intentions
    This statement of intent sets out the nature and scope of our functions, the strategic direction of our organisation, what we are hoping to achieve, and some key measures.
  • Charge for supply of board minutes

    Case notes
    Cannot charge for administrative costs associated with the way an agency chooses to process a request—charge reduced—no remission of charge in the public interest or due to personal hardship
  • Request for names of tenderers and prices

    Case notes
    Release of names and total prices, as opposed to detailed pricing or market strategy, would not be likely unreasonably to prejudice the tenderers’ commercial positions—public interest in release to promote integrity and transparency of the tender process—s 7(2)(b)(ii) does not apply
  • Request for report on DHB governance issues

    Case notes
    Disclosure of report at time of request would have inhibited expression of free and frank opinions by officials—but passage of time and change in circumstances had diminished the likelihood of such prejudice—senior public servants would not be inhibited from expressing free and frank opinions in future
  • Request for information about review of schools’ operational funding

    Case notes
    Information not of an advisory nature—information tendered by an external advisory group, not Ministers or officials—disclosure would not prejudice ability of Ministers to consider advice eventually tendered by officials—s 9(2)(f)(iv) did not apply
  • Immigration New Zealand’s advice to Associate Minister of Immigration unreasonable

    Case notes
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ)—misleading and inadequate advice provided to Associate Minister of Immigration
  • Immigration New Zealand officials’ poor record keeping resulted in unreasonable intervention in appeal process

    Case notes
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ)—incorrect advice given to complainant based on misunderstanding of complainant’s situation—misunderstanding caused by lack of proper record keeping by INZ—failure to refer complainant to her legal advisor before she made a significant change to her immigration situation—removal order cancelled, person returned to NZ with ongoing permits
  • Immigration New Zealand unreasonable to stamp decline in passport

    Case notes
    Immigration New Zealand unreasonable to stamp passport to show application was declined when no legal authority for this practice
  • Department of Internal Affairs accepts process cancelling citizenship managed unreasonably

    Case notes
    Complaint about decision of Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to de-register complainant’s NZ citizenship by descent - complainant adopted in India by uncle who was NZ citizen - adoption considered to be a ‘recognised overseas adoption’ and complainant was registered as a citizen by descent in October 2002
  • Ministry of Agriculture’s aerial spray programme had unreasonable impact on population

    Case notes
    Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries—Ministry of Health—actions in relation to the aerial spraying of Foray 48B (to eliminate the Painted Apple Moth) in West Auckland and Hamilton—inadequate advice to ministers about impact of spray operations
  • Local Authority unreasonable to review peppercorn rental without prior notice

    Case notes
    Peppercorn rent paid to Council for encroachment licence fee for garage—Council increased amount—inconsistent process—Ombudsman viewed increase unreasonable because of lack of notice
  • Local Authority and property vendors both responsible for checking lease agreement

    Case notes
    Local Authority—unreasonable not to have contacted previous lease holder three months after licence to occupy had expired and before agreeing to lease land to another person—Local Authority agrees to apologise to complainant
  • Local Authority not unreasonable to allow retrospective consents on building already constructed

    Case notes
    Local Authority issued an abatement notice to developers—Ombudsman concludes it was reasonable for Council to allow building to proceed while consent process completed—Council acted in accordance with the Resource Management Act (RMA)
  • Local Authority unreasonably failed to consider planning implications for building addition

    Case notes
    Local Authority unreasonable to require the complainant to obtain a resource consent for completed building work, which had been authorised by the Council three years previously
  • Regional Authority’s tender process inadequate

    Case notes
    Regional Council’s tender processes unreasonable, although the tender was incomplete, the Council officer contacted complainant after close of tenders to clarify his tender—having allowed an incomplete tender to proceed and provided complainant with an opportunity to clarify the tender, it was unreasonable for that clarification not to have been provided to the Tender Committee
  • Actions of Office of Treaty Settlements reasonable in relation to a claim settlement process

    Case notes
    Office of Treaty Settlements—reasonable for OTS to rely on the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal that the South Island Landless Natives Act 1906 (SILNA) represented an inadequate response to the Ngāi Tahu landlessness and to regard any grievances that members of Ngāi Tahu might have with the adequacy of land granted under SILNA as a matter appropriately addressed during the Ngāi Tahu settlement process rather than remaining outside it
  • Ministry of Justice’s consultation with community when deciding on Youth Residence site not unreasonable

    Case notes
    Ministry of Justice announced site of a youth residence premises—concerns that consultation process not appropriately carried out with local community—complaint that advice to Minister from Ministry unreasonable—Ombudsman concluded advice was not unreasonable and consultation process appropriate
  • Ombudsman not authorised to consider terms and conditions of service of armed forces

    Case notes
    Complaint about Government decisions regarding exposure of Viet Nam veterans to Agent Orange—Ombudsman declines to intervene—one reason being that s/he is not authorised to investigate any matter concerning the terms and conditions of service of a member of the defence forces
  • Energy Safety Service remedied initial inadequate investigation of accident

    Case notes
    Manner in which Energy Safety Service carried out investigation inadequate—however further inquiries made later—Ombudsman satisfied with later inquiries and concluded the decision not to prosecute not unreasonable in the circumstances
  • Department of Internal Affairs not unreasonable to cancel passport

    Case notes
    Department of Internal Affairs—decision to recall and cancel complainant’s NZ passport – position determined by terms of legislation
  • Department of Internal Affairs accepts it unreasonably interpreted requirements for death certificate

    Case notes
    Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) did not allow certain details on death certificate—complainant requested amended death certificate for father because of error relating to birth date noted on original certificate—DIA accepted the Ombudsman’s opinion that the information should be recorded as required under the legislation at the time of death
  • Canterbury District Health Board received inadequate advice about historic place

    Case notes
    District Health Board’s decision to sell land around disused hospital in Hanmer Springs—requirements for consultation discussed—requirement for keeping open mind referred to—an inadequate summary of submissions provided to Board—Department of Conservation asked to reassess site
  • Request for offender’s photo on police file

    Case notes
    Rape victim sought photograph of attacker whose face she had never seen—Police refused the request to protect the privacy of the offender—s 9(2)(a) applied—public interest in assisting victims of crime to recover from trauma and move on with their lives—balance of competing privacy and public interest considerations needed to be made—appropriate to make photograph available for viewing subject to appropriate conditions
  • Request for qualifications and work history of staff at Polytechnic Department

    Case notes
    Request for details about staff at Polytechnic—withheld under s 9(2)(a) to protect privacy—public interest in ensuring employment practices of Polytechnic are transparent and fair—met by summary release of staff details and selection process
  • Request for copy of competitor’s licence deed

    Case notes
    Ferry service operator requested copy of competitor’s licence deed from ferry terminal facility owner—request refused under s 7(2)(b)(ii) LGOIMA on basis release would prejudice commercial position of licensee—licensee argued that it had originally negotiated licence in atmosphere of complete commercial confidentiality with then port authority at a time when neither party was subject to LGOIMA—Ombudsman considered s 8 LGOIMA and s 75 Local Government Act 2002—neither Act contains transitional or saving provisions concerning information held by private bodies that later become subject to this legislation—request for such information should therefore be considered in same way as any other LGOIMA request—Ombudsman found no commercial prejudice likely and strong public interest in release—facility owner released information.