The 30th Australasian and Pacific Region (APOR) Ombudsman Conference was held in Auckland, New Zealand from 28 – 29 November 2018. Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier invited colleagues and guests to New Zealand to discuss how Ombudsman institutions hold governments to account in a changing climate.
During this event Ombudsman from the Australasian and Pacific Region came together to discuss different topics such as special challenges in the Asian and Pacific region, how Ombudsman and integrity institutions can address disadvantages still faced by women and about the Ombudsman’s role in facing environmental challenges.
Speakers and presenters included IOI President Peter Tyndall, IOI 2nd Vice-President and Western Australia Ombudsman Chris Field, IOI Secretary General Günther Kräuter, former IOI President Dame Beverley Wakem, as well as Ombudsman from Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Conference host Peter Boshier (Chief Ombudsman New Zealand) expressed his appreciation for the active participation and the strong presence of the members of the IOI Executive Committee, which he considered an important signal to colleagues in the region.
Day two of the conference was dedicated to training regarding the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) and the setting up of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) to monitor places of detention and deprivation of liberty.
Over the past four years, the IOI has developed an NPM workshop series to help foster the exchange between Ombudsman offices which hold an NPM mandate. IOI President Tyndall and IOI Secretary General Kräuter therefore gladly contributed to this training part of the conference and presented the IOI Best Practice Paper on how to lead effective change and reported about the most recent NPM workshop, which also dealt with the issue of NPM recommendations and how to follow-up and track their implementation to ensure maximum impact and effective change.
On 29 November 2018 Hong Kong Ombudsman Ms Connie Lau – who is also the current Regional President of the IOI’s Australasian & Pacific Region – chaired a business meeting of the IOI’s APOR Region, during which Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier was elected as her designated successor. Mr Boshier will take on his role as Regional President once Ms Lau’s term as Hong Kong Ombudsman has ended.