Disappointing Dismissal By Ombudsman of NZDSOS “Priority Complaint”

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The New Zealand Ombudsman has dismissed NZDSOS’s complaint of 9 July 2021 despite claiming eight months ago that “you can be assured that your complaint remains a priority and is being actively monitored.” This dismissal comes 21 months after the Ombudsman’s office claimed to have delegated it for early resolution.

Eight months ago we were advised that an investigator would be assigned to the complaint, and would contact us directly.

We were finally informed on 26 May 2023 that Rebecca Fulton had been allocated to our complaint to assist the Chief Ombudsman.

She then asked whether we had taken up the offer of a verbal discussion with Chief Science Advisor Dr Ian Town back in 2021 and if not, why not.  We responded that we had provided a referenced rebuttal to Dr Town’s letter and had had no further engagement or offers from him.

Following Rebecca’s investigation, we have received an official reply from Victor Lee, Principal Investigator who has informed us that the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction to respond to our 25 month old complaint.

How does it take 25 months for a department to understand their own jurisdiction?

Our complaint outlined concerns related to:

  • the Medical Council of New Zealand’s (MCNZ) April 2021 guidance statement which breached medical practitioners’ professional responsibility to patients and the public as well as MCNZ’s own guidelines on informed consent;
  • evidence contradicting the propagandised claims of mRNA injections being ‘safe and effective’; and
  • lack of engagement despite repeated attempts from NZDSOS to enter into dialogue with MCNZ, Medsafe, Dr Ashley Bloomfield (then-Director General of Health) and all sitting members of parliament.

Principal Investigator Lee recommends that we take our complaint to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Covid-19 Lessons and suggests that he understands from our website that we are aware of this Inquiry. In which case he surely also understands that our complaints fall outside the scope of the Inquiry.

Curiously, our biggest concern – the lack of safety of the vaccine and the extent of harm caused by the vaccine – appears to fall into a void.  Nowhere in the Summary of Terms of Reference is the word safety mentioned, either in the list of things to be considered or the list of exclusions.

Ombudsman Royal Commission Inquiry Scope

​​​​​We note the stark inclusion of vaccine efficacy in the no-go areas for the Royal Commission. But so much of the government’s entire pandemic strategy was predicated on one hope/prayer/marketing slogan: that the (rushed) vaccine would be effective, especially to prevent transmission. Since it isn’t and doesn’t, perhaps Ombudsman Peter Boshier could advise what legal remedy there might be for the public, since he is unable to question possible lies, deception or incompetence by the Cabinet – but as if that is where most of the pandemic decisions are coming from!

It is disappointing, although of course not at all surprising, to see another of our democratic institutions that is charged with protecting our rights, strangled by bureaucratic chains. This leaves the New Zealand public paying for an ineffective service which offers no resolution to matters of public safety and professional misconduct.

Read: Letter from Ombudsman Principal Investigator

Dear Dr Imbeau

Your complaint against the Ministry of Health

I write further to Investigator Rebecca Fulton’s email of 6 July 2023 to you.

You, on behalf of a group of doctors called ‘New Zealand Doctors Speak Out With Science’ (NZDSOWS), have complained about the adequacy of the former Director General of Health’s, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, letter of 27 August 2021 responding to your groups concerns about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

In your group’s letter of 25 August 2022, to Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier, you describe your concerns in further detail as follows:

…we wish to highlight a much greater and more urgent matter that is affecting vastly more New Zealanders. This is, of course, the division of New Zealand society and the mass roll out of a provisionally approved medical intervention to mostly healthy citizens. A roll-out marked by blatant coercion and bribery, and all chronicled on many other sources of truth, not least at NZDSOS.com.

Later in this correspondence, you identify your desired outcomes in bringing your concerns to this Office. Namely, a full and urgent investigation into the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 response, including:

  • lockdowns;
  • public messaging;
  • advice to social distance;
  • masking;
  • the COVID-19 vaccines; and
  • mandates.

You also state that ‘all covid measures should be immediately halted until a full and open investigation is completed.’

It is apparent from your later correspondence that your desired outcomes mentioned above do not align with the specific complaint that you have made to this Office. I understand that the issue at the heart of your complaint is less about the adequacy of the Ministry’s response to your submissions, but more about your wider concerns in relation to the government’s response and management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, in making a request for a ‘full and urgent investigation into the New Zealand governments COVID-19 response’, you are essentially asking the Ombudsman to investigate Cabinet decisions. This is because the initiatives that you are now raising concerns about are part of Cabinet’s decisions at the time, such as COVID-19 vaccination and governance for the immunisation system, isolation requirements and mask requirements, just to name a couple of examples.

Cabinet decisions

An Ombudsman has no authority under the Ombudsmen Act 1975 (OA) to investigate Cabinet decisions (these decisions being made by Ministers). While Ministers are subject to the Official Information Act 1982, they are not subject to the OA. Moreover, the Ombudsman has no power to direct the Government to retract the various COVID-19 response measures that you are concerned about.

However, there is available to you a suitable alternative forum in which you can raise your concerns about the Government’s COVID-19 measures. I refer to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Lessons Learned from Aotearoa New Zealand’s Response to COVID-19. The Inquiry’s terms of reference indicate that it will cover the same matters that you are concerned about. Details of the purpose and scope of the Inquiry can be found here.

Further, the Inquiry allows you to pursue your concerns by putting forward your submissions for its consideration (noting that public submissions open in November 2023). It appears from your website that this is an avenue that you are aware of. As you may be aware, a Royal Commission of Inquiry is the highest form of inquiry available to the New Zealand Government.

Therefore, as the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction in relation to Cabinet decisions, we will not be taking any further action on your complaint. However, I hope that the above comments regarding the Inquiry have been helpful.

Yours sincerely

Victor Lee
Principal Investigator

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