INDEPENDENT NEWS

CEAC finds lack of respect for environmental stewardship

Published: Fri 15 Nov 2019 10:15 AM
We agree with the Ombudsman Peter Boshier in his new report on councils QUOTE; “leaders, officials lack of action to "ensure an approach is adopted that is consistent with openness and transparency" Un-quote.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1911/S00186/chief-ombudsman-new-report-wakeup-call-for-council-leaders.htm
In our own experience CEAC as a Environmental NGO’s involvement with the Government agencies over the last 11 years concerning the Environment http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1911/S00020/ceac-finds-huge-data-gaps-in-environmental-stewardship.htm
For example; we recently responded on 11/11/19 to the PCE press report 7/11/19 “Huge’ data gaps in environmental stewardship” just as the PCE has identified in his report.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1911/S00091/huge-data-gaps-undermine-environmental-stewardship.htm
We covered in detail the considerable difficulty in this lack of respect for requests for documents given us by agencies.
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1911/S00020/ceac-finds-huge-data-gaps-in-environmental-stewardship.htm
Peter Boshier chief Ombudsman should be congratulated by relieving results from his investigation of councils lack of giving community's their rights under the OIA to get documents from councils.
We at CEAC since October have a similar complaint also before the Ombudsman Peter Boshier on the same lack of OIA respect given us by NZTA regarding lack of giving community's their rights under the OIA to get documents from NZTA.
HISTORY OF COMMUNITY GIVEN RESPECT UNDER OIA REQUESTS FROM NZTA.
Our community NGO in August 2019 requested documents from NZTA activities and we repeatedly since then been refused our request for information under the OIA from NZTA, as officials are using the same 'blocking tactics' inside NZTA.
Our community now hope the Ombudsman also rules in our case against NZTA officials lack of action to "ensure an approach is adopted that is consistent with openness and transparency."
We had also suggested a number of actions to help achieve this, starting at the top.’
Well done Ombudsman.
His investigation showed councils were deliberately blocking the requests by community's for information under the OIA.
Read this;
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1911/S00186/chief-ombudsman-new-report-wakeup-call-for-council-leaders.htm
QUOTE; Peter Boshier today released Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act compliance and practice at Christchurch City Council. He began his investigation during the tenure of former Chief Executive Dr Karleen Edwards, who left the Council in June this year.
Mr Boshier says his investigation identified serious concerns among Council staff about the behaviour of some members of the Executive Leadership Team to keep negative information from elected members and the public.
‘During my investigation, a number of staff from different parts of Council raised concerns with me about the behaviour of some members of the leadership team. I found the CE’s failure to take adequate action in response to these concerns was unreasonable.’
‘I have made the formal recommendation that Christchurch City Council immediately review the leadership team’s involvement in controlling the flow of information to the public and elected officials, to ensure an approach is adopted that is consistent with openness and transparency. I have suggested a number of actions to help achieve this, starting at the top.’
‘The Council has acted swiftly in response, providing me with a thorough improvement plan and already putting several of its points into action.’
Unquote.

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