The Ombudsman has long held power over government departments and others, and Peter Boshier’s range of actions in recent times have demonstrated the Office’s ability to investigate a wide range of enquiries into malfeasance allegations, including falsified information developed by Christchurch City Council employees, staff assaults at a mental health unit.
It has also been busy, with advice to public sector agencies rising 29 percent. The Office published 23 new or updated pieces of guidance material as well.
The Office’s mandate was expanded considerably in 2019 to include an enhanced role in relation to Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children, involving the overseeing of complaints and investigations relating to Oranga Tamariki and children and young people in state custody. The office launched a separate wide–ranging and independent investigation into the steps Oranga Tamariki takes when newborn babies are removed from their parents or caregivers.