Tag Archives: Information

TV3 The Nation —Interview: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier

TV3 The Nation. Interview Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier 19.3.16

Interview: Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier
Saturday 19 Mar 2016 10:56 a.m.
The new Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier speaks to Lisa Owen about his plans to overhaul the office and how he expects the Government to deal with public information.
View the TV3 Video (11:25)

Twitter: The Nation @TheNationTV3
Website: http://www.newshub.co.nz/TVShows/TheNation

Who is the Ombudsman?
There are currently two: Judge Peter Boshier and Professor Ron Paterson.
Judge Boshier began his term as Chief Ombudsman on 10 December 2015.
Ron Paterson was appointed an Ombudsman on 4 June 2013.
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/about-us/who-is-the-ombudsman

Ombudsman —Fairness for all
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Wikipedia: Office of the Ombudsman (New Zealand)

█ 22.1.16 Stuff: New chief ombudsman promises to be a fearless operator
New chief ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier plans to be a fearless operator, with every intention of using his title and its “spectre” to draw attention to unacceptable practices. “I’m not going to resile from saying things publicly in a considered, measured way when I think that’s justified. That’s what I did as the principal court judge and that’s what I’ll bring to this job,” he said.

█ 16.1.16 RNZ: New Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier (with Kathryn Ryan)
Former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier was one of our highest profile judges during his eight years in that role, and intends to bring the same openness to his new role as Chief Ombudsman.
Audio | Downloads: Ogg MP3 (24’39”)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: TV3 The Nation – screenshot by whatifdunedin

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OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

Updated post
Sat, 5 Dec 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

LIES and SPIN, Bev

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 1:40 PM Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Official Information Act review finds ‘no deliberate misuse’
By Isaac Davison – NZH political reporter
A high-level review of the Official Information Act will not uncover any widespread political interference in the release of information, its author says. The Ombudsman’s Office will release the findings from its comprehensive, year-long review next week. Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said today that the investigation had not discovered malicious or deliberate misuse of the Act by ministers’ offices or by Government departments.

“We’ve really shaken the tree over this and haven’t been surprised by what’s fallen out,” she told a Parliamentary committee this morning.

She admitted that she had suspected political interference, but had found no hard evidence of it. Dame Beverley said people who had complained to her office could be perceiving political spin or “bad behaviour” when it did not exist, and she could not make any findings “based on hearsay”.
Read more

█ The release of the report will be Dame Beverley’s last act as Chief Ombudsman after 10 years in the role. She is being replaced by former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier next week.

Gun shy ? (broken record – your 10 limp-wristed years, inter-agency OBFUSCATION, or lose your privilege, your confidence, your connections, your office budget….)

DemiLovatoVEVO Published on Oct 9, 2015
Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) 5.12.15 Dame Beverley [Stuff.co.nz]Sharon Murdoch, Dame Beverley December 5, 2015 [Stuff.co.nz]

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█ For more, enter terms such as *audit nz*, *auditor general*, *citifleet*, *corruption*, *courthouse*, *cst*, *dcc*, *delta*, *department of internal affairs*, *dia*, *dvml*, *fraud*, *gambling*, *kaipara*, *nzru*, *oag*, *orfu*, *pokies*, *racing*, *rugby*, *sfo*, *stadium*, *ttcf* or *whistleblowers* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: nbr.co.nz – Beverley Wakem

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DCC: i-SITE to relocate to Octagon Civic Centre

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
i-SITE to Relocate to Octagon Civic Centre

This item was published on 28 Apr 2015

Dunedin’s i-SITE Visitor Centre is to move to a higher profile central city location in the Octagon Civic Centre. The move, due to be completed by the end of September, will see i-SITE combine Department of Conservation visitor information services within its current visitor information delivery in a site that can present a seamless service.

Director Enterprise Dunedin John Christie says combining visitor services with DOC meant that it was a perfect time to consider the i-SITE’s location.

“The i-SITE is a key ‘shop front’ for all visitors and residents. Its location is of great importance as it sets a platform for city branding, marketing and delivery. After considering other sites we decided that the Octagon Civic Centre was best suited to cater for Dunedin visitors. The Octagon is an iconic, accessible area for Dunedin city and an obvious place to have our i-SITE. It will help create a sustainable and vibrant city centre by attracting people and providing economic impetus through improved promotion of Dunedin’s many tours and attractions.”

Dunedin i-SITE Manager Louise van de Vlierd says the new location and combining with DOC will help the i-SITE enhance Economic Development Strategy delivery.

“The i-SITE’s activities include providing information on all aspects of Dunedin to visitors influencing the visitor to stay longer and spend more in Dunedin. The new location, with its increased visibility, will help promote options for visitors in a more engaging way. We are very happy that we can achieve the move within current budgets, and expect that this prominent and central location will result in higher revenue for the city”.

Enterprise Dunedin is currently working on design of the new interior and plans to be in the premises by 30 September this year and will be joined by DOC at a later date. The Civic Centre site will provide a floor area of approximately 150m2 compared to 135m2 in the current Princes Street site.

Dunedin City Council Manager City Property Kevin Taylor says the Civic Centre site is a brilliant space and the move fits in well with their plans to make some modest changes to the i-SITE frontage. “It is a timely move and we certainly see them as a great tenant for that space.” Mr Taylor says they have plans for the Princes Street site once it is vacated and they hope to announce those in the not too distant future.

█ The i-SITE New Zealand visitor centres are the official visitor information network. The brand is owned and managed by Tourism New Zealand.

█ Dunedin i-SITE is 50% funded by the DCC with the other 50% being funded from the i-SITE’s revenue generating activities. Currently the i-SITE receives approximately 300,000 visitors each year, 62% of which is foot traffic, and generates $475,000 in revenue. 81% of product sold is for local Dunedin operators. The visitor satisfaction rating for i-SITE services is more than 95%.

Contact John Christie, Director Enterprise Dunedin on 471 8836.
DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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█ For more, enter terms such as *corruption*, *fraud*, *whistleblowers*, *dia*, *department of internal affairs*, *stadium*, *gambling*, *auditor general*, *oag*, *audit nz*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *sfo*, *pokies*, *ttcf*, *racing* or *rugby* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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John Key’s Godzone and the OIA

Dirty Politics - Cameron Slater Nicky Hager [master - tvnz.co.nz] 1

A very experienced political journalist told me: “The whole culture of the Wellington public service towards the OIA is governed by two things – the need not to embarrass your minister or your department (putting your chances of promotion or even your job at risk ) and the need to uphold the law, which public servants are more conscious of than you might think. The result is that public servants block requests for as long as they can and delete as much as they can using whatever section of the OIA act that they can.” –David Fisher, NZ Herald

Link received Thu, 23 Oct 2014 at 8:15 p.m.

### NZ Herald Online 2:56 PM Thursday Oct 23, 2014
David Fisher: OIA a bizarre arms race
NZ Herald journalist David Fisher gave the following speech to an audience of public officials in Wellington on October 15. We republish it here to help the public understand the systematic difficulties faced by those seeking information on their behalf.

Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the NZ Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.
I think there’s some value before I start in placing a context around the current situation in relation to the media and the OIA. In doing so, it should be said each of the following allegations is denied.
At the moment, there is an inquiry underway into whether a blogger gained some advantage in receiving information from the SIS for political purposes. There are also allegations of preferential treatment over the OIA involving the same blogger and the former Justice Minister.
The police are also facing allegations of trying to cover up juked stats by burying an OIA. And a former Customs lawyer has said his organisation preferred to let requests languish in the Ombudsman’s office than dealing with them.
In the 25 years I have worked as a journalist, there have never been so many questions, or such a loss of faith, all at once.
Read more

Comment by Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2014/10/24 at 10:40 am

167968722PW011_John_Key_HolI see that the mighty NZ Police have now decided to prosecute Nicky Hager over the fact that as a journalist he will not reveal who gave him copies of the emails that implicated so many of the National Party in downright crude manipulation and God only knows what else. Even that very friendly Speaker of the House has been forced to find that Key is a devious, slippery sod by not revealing his relationship with that scumbag Cameron Slater (watch the interesting exchange at yesterday’s question time here. http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/34526)
Isn’t it extraordinary that the NZ Police – such an independent body of public servants – jump so quickly whenever Donkey Jonkey and his mates want action, yet they are pleading under-resourcing for really serious crimes? Remember the infamous John Banks (you know, the little forgetful coot from Auckland) cup of tea PR stunt with Key? Key lays a complaint about the recording and the cops jump immediately. Collins, Key and others are shown to be dirty manipulators in Hager’s book and the cops immediately follow up. And how many others could say that their well-documented complaints have been diligently followed? I know of a few for starters, but let’s start with the Crewe murders and the bent cops who planted evidence. Did the cops diligently pursue anyone else when Thomas was pardoned? Not even when Rochelle Crew asked them to do so. The two bent cops were praised for their integrity and diligence by the very top cop after they died.
I could go on, but the perception out there is that the cops are politically driven.

[ends]

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: tvnz.co.nz – Dirty Politics: Cameron Slater, Nicky Hager; newstalkzb.co.nz (Getty) – John Key PM looking tired

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Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests

The following article is reproduced here in full, in the public interest.

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Thursday Mar 21, 2013
Ombudsman to investigate OIA response
By David Fisher
The agency charged with reining in the power of government is to investigate the way public bodies are releasing information as citizens complain of being shut out. The Office of the Ombudsman is to begin its own investigation into the way the public service is responding to the Official Information Act as allegations are made of a “paralysis of democracy”.

The office is struggling to cope with a large increase in complaints from the public who have sought help. Deputy Ombudsman Leo Donnelly has begun writing to those who have complained saying it doesn’t have enough staff to handle the work load.

In response to a complaint from The Herald, Mr Donnelly said the office had 450 complaints it had been unable to assign to investigators because of the volume of work. He said staff were dealing with 2800 complaints.

In contrast, the Ombudsman’s office told a parliamentary select committee it finished the 2011 year with 1359 complaints and the 2012 year with 1746 complaints. Mr Donnelly said this will be a factor in an investigation into the way the act was handled across the public service.

He said the inquiry would aim to discover if the delay was caused by the way public agencies responded to requests.
He said the law stated information should be released unless there was good reason to withhold it.

A recent investigation into the Ministry of Education’s handling of requests to do with Christchurch schools raised questions about the processes used by government agencies to deal with requests.

Constitutional lawyer Mai Chen said the problems raised questions about how well public servants understood a law intended to give balance to the “David and Goliath” inequality between citizen and government. “I am concerned that officials sometimes reflect their ministers. I’m concerned some of the reticence may reflect the priorities that ministers give to compliance with legislation.” She said the government expected citizens to comply with laws and it should do so with the act. “If they don’t mean to do it, they should repeal it.”

Both the Green Party and Labour Party have spokeswomen for open government – with Labour’s Clare Curran, saying it would become a ministerial responsibility when the party was next in office. “There is an emerging crisis with our watchdog agencies,” she said. “It is a paralysis of democracy.”
NZH Link

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‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review

Official Information Act (OIA)
“At present, the Ombudsman was in charge of investigating complaints under the Act, but did not have any wider responsibilities. […] An information commissioner could be created, who would perform a similar role to the Privacy Commissioner or Human Rights Commissioner.”

### ODT Online Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Review recommends broader scope for OIA
Source: NZ Herald
The Law Commission has recommended that all publicly funded agencies should be subject to official information requests, including courts, universities and boards of trustees. The commission has made more than 100 recommendations in “The Public’s Right to Know”, a review of the Official Information Act (OIA) which was tabled at Parliament yesterday. Lead commissioner for the report Prof John Burrows said main principles of the 30-year-old Act were sound, but it needed to be upgraded for the digital age.

“We think there’s a case now for saying if a body is receiving public funding and is performing a public function it should be accountable under the OIA.”

The review also recommended re-drafting some of the grounds for withholding information – such as “good government” and “commercial sensitivity” – which were unclear.

The Justice Ministry and Department of Internal Affairs would consider the recommendations, and were expected to act on them within six months.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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