Last Year – 12
The role of Ombudsman, holding sway over government department and others, has been an important bailiwick against the abuse of power, however there may be a sense of overreach recently by the Boshier office as it has examined everything from staff assaults at a mental health unit, poor behaviour by a Hutt City Councillor, student expulsions from Bethlehem College in Tauranga, prisoner treatment by Corrections, restraints used at a psychiatric facility in Auckland . . and so no shortage of oversight.
In September 2022 his ‘Ready or Not’ report showed 12 government agencies were flouting the law when it came to responding to journalists’ queries under the Official Information Act, while he also raised concerns with 12 government agencies regarding their compliance along with flaws in record keeping systems and breaches of the Public Records Act.
However the preservation of the status of his office came under some criticism of a seven year court battle and $440,000 of taxpayers’ money spent in unsuccessful attempts to prevent private company Financial Service Complaints from using the term ‘financial ombudsman’.
It has also been busy, with advice to public sector agencies rising significantly and he has been working on speeding up the reporting time for those making Official Information Act requests, as well as
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.