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Aged care monitoring

Aroturuki kaumātua

The Chief Ombudsman monitors the conditions and treatment of people who are detained in health and disability facilities, including aged care facilities. These are places where people are not free to leave at will, such as dementia care and specialised hospital care (psychogeriatric care).

In June 2018, the Minister of Justice made it explicit that the Ombudsman is to monitor aged care facilities as part of his role monitoring places of detention

Chief Ombudsman's role in examining and monitoring aged care facilities 

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier talks about his role inspecting secure facilities in aged care facilities.


Tēnā koutou katoa.

I’m Peter Boshier, the Chief Ombudsman.

One of the most rewarding parts of my jobs is my OPCAT inspection work.

On behalf of the United Nations, I go into places where people are detained or in other words,  unable to leave when they want to.

I’m there to make sure that their human rights are protected, and the conditions they live in meet international standards.

In 2018, the Minister of Justice asked me to inspect parts of privately run aged care facilities, where people cannot leave.

Since then, I have been developing my aged care programme of work.

I started with close to fifty orientation visits.

In the wake of the COVID-19 emergency, I also did a series of short, sharp inspections of 12 facilities and produced two special reports.

I’m really pleased to announce that in July, I’ll be starting my full aged care inspection programme.

This programme will build over time, and will be a mixture of announced and unannounced visits.

I’ve also decided to be upfront about what my expectations are in relation to the treatment and conditions of residents in aged care facilities.

I’ve included these in a draft document and your feedback on them is welcome.

You can find out more on my website.

E noho rā, goodbye.  

Monitoring helps ensure people are treated humanely and their rights are respected and protected. It also ensures Aotearoa New Zealand adheres to international human rights standards.

Why the Chief Ombudsman monitors places of detention - brochure


This document sets out some of the matters the Chief Ombudsman considers when assessing the conditions and treatment of residents.

Expectations for conditions and treatment of residents in health and disability places of detention - aged care 

Legal framework

More about the legal framework the inspections are conducted under.

Legal framework

COVID-19 inspections

The Chief Ombudsman conducted a series of short, targeted inspections between April and June 2020 to provide an independent assessment of how detention facilities responded to COVID-19. 

Parliament’s independent watchdog to inspect secure aged care facilities during COVID-19 pandemic – media statement

COVID-19 reports

These reports summarise the Chief Ombudsman's observations, recommendations, and suggestions.

OPCAT COVID-19 report: Report on inspections of aged care facilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989 - June 2021

OPCAT COVID-19 report: Report on inspections of aged care facilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989 - August 2020


The Chief Ombudsman monitors aged care facilities to prevent human rights violations occurring. He isn't able to investigate individual complaints about private facilities.

There are a number of agencies involved in dealing with complaints about health and disability facilities, depending on the circumstances. Find out more on the Ministry of Health's website.

Complaints about a health and disability service

Programme development

With funding secured from 1 July 2019, an examination and monitoring programme was developed and introduced over three years.

The 'orientation' phase has been completed and inspections are started from July 2021, as planned. 

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