Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Ombudsman’s decision upsets Consumer Watchdog


Ombudsman’s decision upsets Consumer Watchdog

According to Consumers’ Institute, the proposed Electricity Ombudsman scheme is in trouble. Institute, chief executive, David Russell, says he is astounded that the Chief Ombudsman, Sir Brian Elwood, is to blame.

“Sir Brian has refused the electricity industry the right to use the name ombudsman,” said Mr Russell. “He can do this because the law states that any new industry complaints-handling scheme wanting to use the name ombudsman must first obtain his approval. This is supposed to protect the standing and integrity of the Parliamentary Ombudsman scheme.”

According to Mr Russell, “Sir Brian points out that there are three government-owned electricity companies (Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Genesis Power) about whom consumers can complain to his office. He believes the establishment of another scheme using the name ombudsman could create confusion in the minds of consumers, which in turn could lower the standing of his office.”

“Consumers’ Institute disagrees. Provided the industry scheme is widely promoted, we think the consumers of New Zealand will quickly learn where to turn with their complaints about electricity companies.

“The proposed scheme is specifically tailored to cope with complaints and problems people are likely to have with their electricity retailer. The Parliamentary scheme is designed to deal with the administration of government ministries, departments and agencies. It doesn’t have a dedicated consumer/retailer focus.

“The advantages far out-weigh any minor confusion that may arise over jurisdiction, and we don’t accept there is any denigration of Sir Brian’s office through the use of the title Electricity Ombudsman.

“We urge him to reconsider his decision. The title ombudsman has assumed a standing and recognition in the eyes of consumers – in part because of his office, and in part because of the good work done by the industry-run Banking Ombudsman and Insurance and Savings Ombudsman schemes. The electricity industry has, after a faltering start, come up with a scheme in which consumers can have confidence. Let’s give it the title it deserves,” said Mr Russell.


For further information contact:
David Russell, Chief Executive, Consumers’ Institute, (04) 384-7963 (day)

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election