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

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news