New Zealand Law Society - Chief Ombudsman publishes political consultation emails opinion

Chief Ombudsman publishes political consultation emails opinion

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Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has published his opinion on a refusal by the Minister of State Services to provide two emails revealing comments provided by the Green Party in response to consultation on a proposed Cabinet paper.

Mr Boshier reached a final opinion on the matter in June 2019. He upheld the Minister's decision to withhold release. 

He said this was in order to maintain the effective conduct of public affairs through the free and frank expression of opinions (section 9(2)(g)(i) of the Official Information Act 1982), and that section 9(2)(f)(iv) was not applicable in the circumstances of the particular case.

Mr Boshier says he has decided to publish his final opinion in full because two Ministers - Julie Anne Genter and Phil Twyford (on behalf of Julie Anne Genter) - referred to the opinion during their replies to questions about a different issue in Parliament last week.

"Given the public interest and my wish to be as transparent as possible, I have decided to publish my final opinion in full on my website,” he says.

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