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Ombudsman awaits police updates on six complaints

Thursday 20 June 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in National, Parliament

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Ombudsman awaits police  updates on six complaints
Minister Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa. MELINA ETCHES/24011810 or 1811

Minister for Ombudsman Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa says the Office of the Ombudsman has received eight complaints from the 2017-2024.

Mokoroa responded yesterday in Parliament to Leader of the Opposition Tina Browne’s inquiry about the Ombudsman office’s progress on complaints, specifically a complaint filed in 2021.

The Minister said two of the complaints have been dealt with and six remain with police. The Office of the Ombudsman is still waiting for an update on these cases.

Mokoroa said the police need to conduct their investigation, but the lack of response from the police to the Ombudsman’s requests for information is a major ongoing issue for the Ombudsman’s office. This problem, he added, is common across other ministries as well.

Mokoroa explained that they are unable to reveal the nature of the complaint and its details.

However, Browne clarified that there had been a misunderstanding regarding the questions. She specifically referred to a complaint filed in 2021.

The leader of the Democratic Party explained that the complaint was initially filed with the police, but due to a lack of progress, it was then referred to the Ombudsman’s office for investigation.

Minister Mokoroa replied: “I think there are more details we would like, who is the complainant, where are they complaining from, what is the nature of the complaint in order to send information to the Ombudsman’s office.”

Cook Islands News understands the complaint raised by the Leader of Opposition is in relation to the one filed against former and retired police commissioner James Keenan for allegedly failing to investigate two complaint reports.

According to the complainant, they delivered two complaint reports dated June, 2021, and October, 2021, to the then police commissioner. They also met with him and his senior staff on two separate occasions. The complaints to the police related to two Cabinet Ministers.

The complainant claimed that they have not received any reply or comment from the former police commissioner.

Comments

graham roper on 20/06/2024

Interesting response from the Minister. My complaint , which has been accepted for investigation, has stalled with no communication as to w. Written , promised time lines have long since past due dates . Any correspondence for updates has gone unanswered. Is there something deeper or MP interference with the Ombudsman’s roles and responsibilities?