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



Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news