The Office of the Ombudsman says it will soon be monitoring the treatment of patients in privately run aged care facilities and detainees in court cells.
It says the additional responsibilities were gazetted on 6 June by Justice Minister Andrew Little.
They are in addition to the Office’s current responsibilities under the United Nation’s Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
“This amounts to a major expansion of our work and the breadth of our mandate”, says Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier.
"The new designation will enable the Ombudsman to monitor and inspect privately run care facilities where there are dementia units and where people, often the elderly, are detained because of their vulnerability.
“We need to make sure New Zealand’s reputation for the good treatment of it citizens, whatever their circumstances, is protected and enhanced.”