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Helensville Primary School Board withholds information

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Regan Cunliffe lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman on 1 December 2018 over Helensville Primary School Board’s failure to supply official information requested about co-opted board member David Munro within the statutory timeframe of 20 working days.

The Office of the Ombudsman noted on 21 December 2018 that they are currently engaging with the Board in relation to multiple requests for information and this work is taking longer than expected.

The information requested includes the date of the first communication between the Board and Mr Munro, a copy of all invoices from Mr Munro or companies he is associated with, and a copy of all correspondence between the Board and Mr Munro between 11 April 2018 and 4 November 2018.

"I have been seeking this information since November," said Mr Cunliffe. "Being forced to use the OIA process to get information that should have been readily and willingly made available to me is disgraceful enough," he said, "but for the Board to then fail to meet the deadline defies belief. Where is the good faith in this secretive approach? What are the Board trying to hide and whose interests are they serving?" he said.

In November, Helensville Primary School parents were informed that the Board had co-opted Mr Munro; he now chairs a committee dealing with Board correspondence. He has 30 years of experience in industrial relations, school boards and is a senior advocate for the NZRDA who are currently involved with the junior doctors’ strike action.

Ironically, Mr Munro issued a series of press releases in 2017 condemning the Taranaki DHB for not responding to OIA requests within the statutory 20 working days and having to resort to pursuing his request through the Ombudsman.

Mr Cunliffe has laid multiple additional complaints with the Ombudsman and Privacy Commissioner in relation to the Helensville Primary School Board of Trustees.

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