Judge Peter Boshier Chief Ombudsman

Chief Ombudsman
Judge Peter Boshier

Introduction to our new Chief Ombudsman- Judge Peter Boshier

Janine McGruddy
TINZ Deputy Chair

I first met Peter at the UN HeForShe Campaign launch on 27 November last year, before he had started in his new role as Chief Ombudsman. HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women. Peter was there as one of the HeForShe Champions. I remember thinking, this bodes well!  So an excellent start. Peter began his five-year appointment as Ombudsman on 10 December 2015.

I could go into Peter’s background, but that is available on the Office of the Ombudsman website for those who enjoy history.

I am far more interested in what our Chief Ombudsman does than who they are, and so far I have to say I am impressed.

One of his first acts in the role was to take up where Dame Beverly Wakem had left off, on the complaints laid with the Chief Ombudsman about the Prime Minister’s refusal of Official Information Act requests for communications that he or his Office had with a journalist for the New Zealand Herald, Ms Rachel Glucina. This was regarding the pulling of a waitress’ hair by the Prime Minister at Rosie Cafe, a cafe in Parnell. At issue in this case was a single text message that was sent by Ms Glucina to the Prime Minister on 22 April.

After a thorough investigation into the complaints, his decision was that good reason did not exist to withhold the text message. The Chief Ombudsman recommended that the Prime Minister release the content, timing and circumstances of the text. The Prime Minister accepted the Chief Ombudsman’s final opinion and agreed to release the information.

This is exactly the type of action required to rebuild the public’s faith in the Official Information Act, a cornerstone of our democracy and essential to transparency of governance. I look forward to getting to know Peter in my role as TINZ Director, Public Sector, and supporting him in his no doubt often difficult work as our Chief Ombudsman – so in this instance perhaps a case of She for He?

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Recent Activity

Public Sector Integrity Media Release
State Services Commission took a very positive step in addressing a key recommendation of TINZ's Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment by advertising a role for Deputy Commissioner, Integrity, Ethics and Standards. 11 May, 2017

Defence Inquiry Media Release
Transparency needed to support the integrity of our Defence Force 2 Apr, 2017

Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 TINZ media release
Transparency International 25 Jan, 2017

TINZ OGP Submission
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) submitted recommendations for New Zealand’s second Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP). Among the recommendations were a call for more ambition in creating NAPs and developing channels of communication for improving engagement with citizens. 19 Aug, 2016