The Ombudsman helps the community in its dealings with government agencies.

The Ombudsman may investigate administrative acts or decisions by state sector agencies which affect someone in their personal capacity. These include:

  • most central government agencies, such as those responsible for accident compensation, benefit payments, school boards, housing, health, immigration, passports, taxation and child support;
  • local government agencies, including those responsible for roads, drainage, animal control, planning and enforcement of building or resource consents.

Complainants should attempt to resolve the complaint with the agency concerned first.

The Ombudsmen will also investigate responses by state secor agencies and Ministers to requests for access to official information. Requests may be made for access to any information that is held by an agency, including information on government policy or a copy of specific document.

The Ombudsman also carries out a range of roles that go toward protecting a person’s rights, like monitoring places of detention, and the implementation of the UN Disabilities Convention. In addition, the Ombudsman can assist employees who wish to report serious wrong doing in their work place (protected disclosure/ whistle–blowing).

The Ombudsman does not act as an advocate for a complainant of the agency complained against and cannot investigate complains about private individuals, private companies, lawyers, and MP’s. The Ombudsman can only investigate the Police and Ministers in relation to requests for access to official information.

An Ombudsman’s investigation is free and is conducted in private.

For further information: