Monday, November 12, 2018


That's the Chief Ombudsman's formal opinion of Horowhenua District Council's practice of redirecting, blocking and editing emails from people on a secret shitlist. While the Ombudsman recognises that sometimes members of the public might send emails that require management to prevent harassment, the way Horowhenua Council was doing this - in secret, without any formally recorded justification, and blocking innocuous and ordinary business content as well as abusive emails - was simply wrong. They highlight the way the blocks prevented communication with elected representatives and encouraged one councillor to route official emails through a private account to ensure they were received - effectively undermining good record-keeping practice and the LGOIMA. Apparently the policy has already been ended, which saves the Ombudsman from having to recommend that, but they have recommended an apology. Given Horowhenua's toxic environment, it'll be interesting to see whether the Council even tries to fake sincerity on that.