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New Zealand Ombudsman pays inaugural visit to the Kingdom of Tonga

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11th October, 2017 New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman has embarked on the first ever visit to the Kingdom of Tonga since his office was established 55 years ago.

Peter Boshier, a former Chief Judge of the New Zealand Family Court arrived in Tonga last night and will be in the country until Friday.

“I’m very proud to be the first ever New Zealand Ombudsman to pay a formal visit and I’m delighted by the warm reception I have received”.

Mr Boshier’s says New Zealand and Tonga have always enjoyed close ties and the Ombudsman’s functions in Tonga are closely aligned with those of the New Zealand Ombudsman, which has operated since 1962.

Mr Boshier’s visit reciprocates a number of earlier visits by the Tonga Office of the Ombudsman to New Zealand.

“This is an opportunity for me to visit my colleague and fellow Ombudsman, ‘Aisea Havea Taumoepeau SC in his home country and to learn about the many initiatives he is undertaking first hand”.

Mr Taumoeeau has welcomed Mr Bosheir’s visit.

“This is a chance to foster the relationship between our respective offices and to discuss the broad opportunities to cooperate in relation to the International Ombudsman Institute, Australasia and the Pacific”.

Tonga is a foundation member of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance and a member of the International Ombudsman Institute. Mr Bosheir is one of 18 worldwide directors of the International Ombudsman Institute and has particular responsibility for the Pacific region.

“I want to support Tonga in its efforts to have its voice heard in the international environment,” Mr Boshier says.

He will also meet with the Speaker and Parliamentarians, Law Lords and Justice Sector representatives.

“Tonga clearly recognizes the importance of the role of the Ombudsman in society. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with a number of senior politicians and officials during the course of my visit including Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva and members of his cabinet and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Tu’ivakano”.

Mr Boshier says the Office of the Ombudsman is a well-established international institution.

“Many countries have appointed Ombudsman. It is clear many see the benefits of having an independent figure listen to the complaints of ordinary citizens and deal with issues of importance to them. Ombudsmen also ensure that governments are accountable”.

“I’m here to talk about international best practice and share information and ideas in my efforts to support Tonga’s Office of the Ombudsman. For Ombudsman around the world, there is everything to be gained from bilateral relationships and dialogue,” Mr Boshier says.


Issued by the: Office of the Ombudsman, Tonga


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