08th June 2022
Media Release – Meeting with New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier
The Public Service Commissioner, Carl Hunter yesterday, met the New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier who was accompanied by the Cook Islands Ombudsman Niki Rattle and Ms Jordana Dawson-Hayes – Manager International Development and Engagement from the New Zealand Ombudsman’s Office.
The courtesy call was to highlight the close bonds between both the New Zealand and Cook Islands Ombudsman’s Office (CIOO) and reaffirm the valued assistance and support that New Zealand’s Ombudsman’s Office provides to CIOO in terms of capacity building, advice and technical support.
In addition to also highlighting the significant role that CIOO plays in supporting democracy in the Cook Islands, the courtesy call also provided an opportunity to reconfirm to the Public Service Commissioner, the role and responsibility of the CIOO in protecting the rights of all citizens and the importance in collaboration between the Office of the Public Service Commissioner and the CIOO to promote transparency and accountability on the part of the Public Sector Agencies.
Ombudsman Rattle expressed her concerns with the lack of responsiveness on the part of some Public Sector Agencies when it came to her Office seeking to communicate on matters of concern raised by the public, and wanted to impress on the Public Service Commissioner that the expectation of general public is that Public Sector Agencies can be trusted, employ people with integrity and treat everyone with courtesy, respect and fairness.
Public Service Commissioner Hunter confirmed that the vision of the Public Sector Strategy for 2016-2025 is a Public Service of Excellence and therefore, his expectation is that, all administrative actions and decisions implemented by all public servants can stand up to public scrutiny and that they all adhere to the Public Service values of – honesty, impartiality, service, transparency, accountability, respect, effectiveness and efficiency.
NZ Ombudsman Boshier and delegation welcomed the opportunity to visit the Cook Islands and take the opportunity to strengthen ties with his counterpart, as well as to meet with key stakeholders. He indicated that his courtesy calls upon key stakeholders had been both productive and useful and this visit had allowed the opportunity to meet Ms Rattle who was appointed into the post four months ago, replacing Mr Nono Tairea who had retired. Boshier and delegation arrived earlier this week and are intending to spent their time during the visit to meet with various stakeholders both in Government and in the community to further inform them of the important roles and responsibilities of the Cook Islands Ombudsman’s Office.