Story: Ombudsmen and officers of Parliament

A disputed decision

A disputed decision

This cartoon, published in 2003, refers to an unusual situation where the Crown Law Office sued the office of the ombudsmen for deciding that the Ministry of Social Development should release addresses of state tenants to the Department of Courts so that tenancy judgement orders could be enforced. Parliament granted the ombudsmen's office $100,000 to defend itself. ACT MP Stephen Franks (right) supported the ombudsman's decision and was outraged at the waste of public funds. He believed that the bodies concerned should be cooperating, not fighting each other. In the end, the legal proceedings were aborted by the Crown Law Office, days before the hearing.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: DX-023-103
Cartoon by Ashley W. Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

David McGee, 'Ombudsmen and officers of Parliament - Ombudsmen – maladministration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 September 2021)

Story by David McGee, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 20 Jan 2017