(Open letter to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com)
I am writing for two reasons:
I realise that the New Zealand Ombudsmen are probably not associated with the International Ombudsman Association, but the New Zealand Chief Ombudsman is currently the head of the International Ombudsman Institute, so I am bound to wonder how neutral the latter organisation can be in this matter.
The facts of the matter involving Professor Ron Paterson are set out very clearly (I think) on the following page:
With regards to the issue of possible financial pressure, there has been publicity in the not too distant past about how the Ombudsmen were under-funded by Parliament. See, for example, the following page:
Since I have a law degree, I am aware that the salaries and tenure of judges are very sensitive issues, since political influence on their tenures or salaries can prevent judges from being fully independent. Since ombudsmen are similar to judges -- indeed, there is no appeal at all from the decision of a New Zealand ombudsman on substantive issues -- it seems to me that the funding problem might have given, or might give, politicians the opportunity to exert influence on the decisions made by ombudsmen in this country. I am specifically concerned that the above case involving Professor Ron Paterson might have been a case of that kind.
I would be very grateful if you would both kindly investigate this matter for me.