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

 


Ombudsmen face new challenges in ensuring fair treatment


Media release

November 12, 2012

Ombudsmen face new challenges in ensuring fair treatment

Natural disaster, public service cuts and private provision of public services are among the issues under scrutiny by Ombudsmen at this week’s World Conference in Wellington.

The conference, being hosted for the first time in New Zealand, will see about 280 Ombudsmen, National Human Rights Institutions and other integrity bodies descend on Wellington, with the public section of the meeting running from Wednesday (November 14) until Friday.

It is the 10th World Conference of the International Ombudsman’s Institute, which is currently chaired by New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem. Dame Beverley is the first woman to chair the Institute and the third New Zealander to do so.

Dame Beverley says the conference’s title Speaking truth to power – the role of the Ombudsman in the 21st century reflects the challenges facing ombudsmen in today’s society.

“Expectations in our fast-moving world are high. Technology and social media are giving people a greater voice than ever before, and social, political and economic forces are effecting change from within – often not waiting for official processes to run their course.

“However, at the same time the global financial crisis, government austerity measures and natural disasters have created new groups of vulnerable people.

“Cuts to government services, and the shifting of public service delivery to private providers opens the door for corrupt practice and unreasonable decisions to occur,” she says.

Internationally ombudsmen themselves are facing the fear of budgetary constraints impacting on timely investigations at a time when complaints are on the rise and Ombudsmen are being asked to do more.

“What we are seeing is an increasing diversity of roles being given to Ombudsmen, and a need to rethink how to best apply the limited resources we have. This international forum is a chance for Ombudsmen from all corners of the world to debate and discuss these issues,” Dame Beverley says.

Wellington’s hosting of the World Conference also comes as New Zealand marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman in this country.

Speakers at the conference include former New Zealand Prime Minister and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Rt Hon Helen Clark.

The conference topics will range from holding leaders to account through to looking at the challenges faced by ombudsmen in assisting communities suddenly finding themselves displaced through natural disasters such as the Christchurch and Great East Japan earthquakes and floods in Queensland.

A full copy of the programme is available at www.confer.co.nz/wcioi

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news