Central government and local government agencies

The next steps to take if you are unable to resolve an issue with central government or a local government agencies.

Who do I go to?

The Office of the Ombudsman(external link) if your initial complaint to the relevant agency has not been resolved or if you are unhappy at how the agency has handled your Official Information Act (OIA) request.

The Office of the Judicial Conduct Commissioner(external link) if you are unhappy with the conduct of a judge.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority(external link) if you wish to make a complaint about the police.

For complaints about interference with your privacy, find out more about your rights on our Privacy page.

What kind of problems do they handle?

The Ombudsman can investigate:

  • complaints about the administrative acts and decisions of central and local government agencies
  • an agency’s decision (or lack of decision) about an OIA request.

The Ombudsman may refuse to investigate your complaint if:

  • there’s an adequate alternative remedy available to you
  • your complaint is more than 12 months old
  • your complaint is trivial, vexatious or not made in good faith
  • you don’t have sufficient personal interest in the complaint
  • your complaint relates to government ministers, judges or the police.

Examples of common agency complaints and how the Ombudsman can help can be found in their factsheet(external link).


What do I need to do?

  1. Contact the agency that made the decision affecting you, or that holds the information that’s the subject of your OIA request, to ask for disclosure. 
  2. If you’re unhappy with the result of your complaint or OIA request, make a complaint to the Ombudsman using their complaints process(external link).

What else do I need to consider?

Making a complaint to the Ombudsman is free for you.

There’s no time limit for making a complaint to the Ombudsman. However the length of time before you complained may influence the Ombudsman’s decision on whether or not to investigate.

After investigating a complaint, the Ombudsman will form an opinion. This opinion is not binding on either party.

Where can I get more information?

Office of the Ombudsman

Provides information about the training and support offered by the Ombudsman in addition to its role handling complaints.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 802 602
Email: info@ombudsman.parliament.nz

Independent Police Conduct Authority

Provides information about the role of the Authority in overseeing police conduct and how to make a complaint.

Visit the website(external link)
Phone: 0800 503 728

Judicial Conduct Commissioner

Provides information on the complaints process and how to make a complaint.

Visit the website(external link)
Email: judicialconduct@jcc.govt.nz