Ombudsman asks for response on ‘secret’ coalition document

The Chief Ombudsman has asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for a response over the now 33 page coalition document that she has refused to release, despite Winston Peters offering to release it.

NZH:  Ombudsman steps in over unreleased coalition document, asks PM for response

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has written to Jacinda Ardern in relation to the 33-page coalition document that she has refused to release, asking her to respond within five days.

Ardern’s refusal to release the document is now the subject of a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters described it as a “document of precision on various areas of policy commitment and development” and “directives to ministers with accountability and media strategies”.

Ardern has been under pressure from the Opposition to release the 33-page document, which she describes as an unofficial “record of some of our [coalition] conversations”.

Boshier told Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon that he had read the document.

The document that Ardern has described as a few notes.

“I’ve written to the Prime Minister and my expectation is a five-day time turnaround for a reply.”

He said he could not talk about this individual case, but described the general process.

“I set my own timelines as to what’s appropriate. I see the document. I go through it. I form my own view. I then take that provisional view to each side and say, ‘This is what my view is. What do you say in relation to my view?’

“And then I release my decision. It’s very rare that my decision is not complied with.”

Sounds like Ardern is now also under pressure from the Ombudsman.


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  1. Corky

     /  4th December 2017

    This document must paint her into a corner somehow. With this issue and MSM now onto the Jones case, there’s no doubt Jacinda is under pressure. Especially when media use the word ”split.’

  2. Blazer

     /  4th December 2017

    just do what National did..kick it into touch..for a few years.

  3. PartisanZ

     /  4th December 2017

    He’s only asking for “a reply” or “a response” …

    Next week we’ll hear “I have received a satisfactory reply from the Prime Minister”

    end of …

    The media couldn’t get the use of the word “split” right if they were looking at their own backsides in a mirror …

    • wackAmole

       /  4th December 2017

      “He’s only asking for “a reply” or “a response” … ”

      Only? He will make his ruling – release it, which JA will have to comply with.

      It might be her way out of the corner Winnie has painted her into: “the ombudsman made me do it”.

      • PartisanZ

         /  4th December 2017

        “I’ve received a reply from the PM and I’m satisfied there’s nothing in the document that requires its public release” …?

        • Gezza

           /  5th December 2017

          Best just to wait & see. The Chief Ombudsperson is giving nothing away as to what his view currently, is or his decision might be, having already seen the document.

          • PDB

             /  5th December 2017

            She can’t win either way – release it and we discover what she wants hidden, don’t release it and people keep speculating on what Labour is hiding, especially considering they keep telling us how ‘transparent’ they will be.

  4. Reply
    • PDB

       /  5th December 2017

      It’s obviously some big win for Winston hence why he has no objection to it being released.


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