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

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news