Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Defying the Ombudsman

According to the Manawatu Standard, the Minister of Education is defying the Ombudsman and refusing to hand over a report into the hiring of a school principal later charged with sexually abusing his students. Instead, he's been sitting on it for more than a month and ignoring repeated requests, thus preventing the Ombudsman from even beginning an investigation into whether the original decision to withhold it was justified.

The wrongness of this cannot be overstated. While the Ombudsman has little formal power, they are one of the final guardians of the people's rights, and no-one refuses them. No-one. For a Minister to ignore their requests shows a terrible arrogance and a blatant disregard for the law and constitutional mores. And such a person is simply unfit to be a Minister.