APRIL 15, 2018 16 Businesslink Ombudsman’s Official Information Act war continues Shane Cowlishaw With a new Government pledging to be the most open and transparent ever, the watchdog tasked with ensuring it complies with freedom of information laws won’t be easing up the pressure. The Chief Ombudsman’s offensive against gaming of the Official Information Act (OIA) has continued with the announcement of investigations into four government departments. Judge Peter Boshier’s office will look at environmental and cultural agencies: The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, the Ministry for the Environment, the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand. Whether the agencies have the policies, culture and leadership in place to comply with the OIA will be explored and the findings made public. The agencies have been chosen because of the Government’s interest in the area and will be the first of many, with Boshier planning to eventually investigate every agency covered by the Act. Public feedback Staff will be asked for their opinion and members of the The Ombudsman, Judge Peter Boshier, has launched new investigations into compliance with the Official Information Act. Photo: Shane Cowlishaw public who have made information requests are being encouraged to provide their feedback. Introduced in 1982, the OIA requires public information to be released unless there is a good reason not to do so. But it has been eroded over the years, with many voicing their concern about its treatment. Since taking over the role from Dame Beverley Wakem in late 2015, the former Chief Family Court Judge has shaken up the office. “I just want to say to (Newsroom) and to investigative journalists and reporters that you should expect the very best from Government agencies and local government and then from me in terms of compliance with this Act and nothing short of that is going to be acceptable.” Agencies on notice Arriving at an organisation underfunded and struggling with a reputational issue, Boshier has cracked down and eliminated a backlog of 648 complaints that were clogging the system. He said agencies were on notice that they were expected to comply with the OIA, something that had not always been happening. “I think it’s better but I’m disappointed in some aspects of compliance, particularly in local government. When I look at ... what seems to me to be some gaming that I’ve perceived that is almost a deliberate attempt to not release as soon as possible because it’s suitable to delay, I’m dejected,” he said. After starting in the role, Boshier said he realised it suited agencies to delay releasing information because any complaints would disappear into his office’s backlog. But now that had changed he expected behaviour to improve. Increasing compliance While in opposition, Labour called for the Ombudsman to be given stronger powers including the ability to fine agencies for breaches. Boshier, however, said he was not pushing for changes to the Act and wanted to focus on increasing compliance. To that end, he recently met with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to explain what information could be withheld to protect officials’ ability to have “free and frank” discussions, and what couldn’t. “I just want to say to (Newsroom) and to investigative journalists and reporters that you should expect the very best 2018 CALLING FOR ENTRIES &NOMINATIONS Forms can be downloaded from www.inliba.com from Government agencies and local government and then from me in terms of compliance with this Act and nothing short of that is going to be acceptable.” Shane Cowlishaw is Wellington-based National Affairs Editor of Newsroom, an independent, New Zealandbased news and current affairs site, founded by Mark Jennings, former Head of News and Current Affairs at Mediaworks (TV3) and Tim Murphy, former Editor-in- Chief of the New Zealand Herald. Newsroom is powered by the generosity of people who support its mission to produce fearless, independent and provocative journalism. IndianNewslink has published the above Report and Picture under a Special Agreement with www.newsroom.co.nz
APRIL 15, 2018 Right to participate reinforces Right to Health Taiwan wants to attend World Health Assembly 2018 Dr Chung-Hsing Chou Although Taiwan has participated in the technical meetings, mechanisms and activities of the World Health Organisation and the World Health Assembly (WHA), it has not been invited to attend the 70th WHA as an observer in 2017. World Health Assembly 2018 will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from May 21 to 26, 2018. For many years, Taiwan has contributed to enhancing regional and global disease prevention networks; and is dedicated to assisting other countries in overcoming healthcare challenges to help achieve WHO’s vision that health is a fundamental human right. Therefore, there is widespread support that Taiwan should be invited to attend the WHA. Vulnerable geographic location Located at a key position in East Asia, Taiwan shares environmental similarities for communicable disease outbreaks with neighboring countries and is frequently visited by international travelers. This makes Taiwan vulnerable to cross-border transmission and cross-transmission of communicable disease pathogens, which could lead to their genetic recombination or mutation, and give rise to new infectious agents. Since Taiwan is unable to attend the WHA and is excluded from full participation in related meetings, it does not have the benefit of obtaining complete disease and medical information. This creates serious gaps in the global health security system and threatens people’s right to health. Furthermore, countries use food products made of various materials coming from all parts of the world. According to WHO 2015 Report, more than two million deaths occur each year due to contaminated food or drinking water. Given that Taiwan is the world’s 18th largest exporter and importer, its exclusion from the international health system poses a threat to global food safety. Sound System needed The WHO needs Taiwan’s participation to establish a sound global health system. Its core objective of uplifting the standard of human health can be achieved through universal health coverage. Taiwan was the first country in Asia to implement a National Health Insurance Programme, which boasts a coverage rate of 99.9%. Medical expenditures in Taiwan account for mere 6.3% of GDP. In this regard, Taiwan is willing and is in a position to share its experience with the WHO and other nations. In recent years, Taiwan has successfully transformed its role on the international stage from aid recipient to assistance provider. It has established a comprehensive disease prevention system and organised numerous training workshops aimed at building capacity to prevent Ebola, MERS, Dengue Fever and Zika in the Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia, thereby facilitating collective efforts to strengthen global health security. Taiwanese Health Promotion Taiwan needs the WHO to protect the health of its own people as well as those in the region and the entire world. Through its participation in the WHA and the WHO, it could share its experience with other countries, make timely reporting and acquire information on diseases, and play a constructive role in global health protection. This would create a win-win scenario for Taiwan, the WHO, and the world community. SARS 15th Anniversary This year marks the 15th anniversary of outbreak of Sever Acute Respiratory System. Fifteen years after losing many lives to SARS, Taiwan is back on its feet and has developed an even stronger disease prevention system. Virus infection knows no borders. Only when every member of the international community is included in this collective fight against diseases can the negative effects of the next potential pan- Businesslink demic outbreak be minimised. With an interest in making professional health contributions and protecting the right to health, Taiwan seeks participation in the 71st WHA this year. It seeks a professional and pragmatic participation to become a part of global efforts aimed at realising WHO’s vision for a seamless global disease prevention network, as well as UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 by 2030. Administrator Job Vacancy Nature and Scope of Job The position of the Administrator is very critical to the successful operation of the Temple and the Community Centre facility. The Administrator will be responsible for the day to day operations of both facilities. He or She will also be responsible for ensuring that the objectives of the trust are adequately met by organising events and activities as deemed suitable under the guidance and direction of the board of trustees. Qualifications The successful candidate will have suitable management qualification Job Functions and Responsibilities: The functions and responsibilities of the administrator shall include but not limited to (a) Daily operations (b) Facilities Management (c) Restaurant/Kitchen Operations (d) Priest and Staff Management (e) Events and activities (f) Financial Management and Record-Keeping (g) Donor and Devotee Relationship Management (h) Health and Safety (j) Safeguarding and Management of the Assets of the Trust (j) Complaints and compliance. Please email applications to firstname.lastname@example.org Or post to Shri Ram Mandir Charitable Trust Suite 3, Level 7, 300 Queen Street, Auckland 1010 Application will close on 30 April2018 17 Dr Chung-Hsing Chou (File Photo) is Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Auckland. Read two more related articles in this issue. The above is an edited version. New Store Opportunities This is your opportunity to become part of a successful international brand, partnering with the expertise of Restaurant Brands here in New Zealand and the Yum brand worldwide. With 94 stores NZ wide including 60 franchised stores and sales exceeding $90m, Pizza Hut is currently enjoying strong growth and franchisee success. We are committed to expanding the brand and store numbers in NZ and revitalizing the brand. We invite prospective franchisees to join to success story. We are offering new store opportunities on a turnkey basis, meaning that we will build, design and fully set up new stores ready for you to open and start trading. We offer comprehensive training and assistance to get your business successfully underway, and then ongoing operational support throughout the franchise term. We are looking for franchisees with passion, commitment and business skills. Comprehensive training and support will be provided. Store prices vary from $500,000 to $600,000 depending on the location and size of the outlet. Bank finance is generally available to 50%. Current Opportunities exist in Morrisville, Napier, Kaipoi, Mosgiel, Oamaru as well as limited opportunities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Contact Alan Brooks Franchise Manager, Restaurant Brands Limited | 666 Great South Road, Penrose, Building 7, Level 3 PH 09-525-8785 | Mob 021-2769769 | Email: email@example.com
2018 Home Nations Sea Angling Boat Championships (Cobh) 14/15 & 16th June
Cobh, will this year host the 2018 Home Nations Sea Angling Boat Championships which will take place over three consecutive days from Thursday 14th through Saturday 16th June. Four teams will make up the
tournament which will see the cream of angling talent from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales take to our local waters in a bid to take home the honours.