Samoa is hosting a very special visitor this week.
More specifically, the Office of the Ombudsman is hosting New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman, Misa Peter Boshier, who is in Samoa for the first time.
Misa, a former Chief Judge of the New Zealand Family Court, arrived in Samoa on Monday.
He met with the Acting Prime Minister, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, yesterday.
Upon arrival, Misa remarked: “I am very pleased to be able to return to this wonderful country as New Zealand’s Chief Ombudsman. My aim is to support, to learn and to further our friendship.”
Judge Boshier’s visit continues the positive relationship that has developed over the years with the Samoan office.
Maiava Iulai Toma, Ombudsman of Samoa, welcomed the visit.
“Since my office became the National Human Rights Institution in 2013 the Office of the Ombudsman in New Zealand has generously offered their support in building our capacity, especially in relation to our new role of monitoring places of detention,” said Maiava.
“We are grateful to have received in-country technical support and the opportunity to send our staff to New Zealand to see first-hand how it is carried out.”
Samoa is a member of the Pacific Ombudsman Alliance and a member of the International Ombudsman Institute (I.O.I.). Judge Misa Boshier is one of 18 worldwide directors of the I.O.I. and has particular responsibility for the Pacific region.
“The Office of the Ombudsman in Samoa is highly regarded internationally and is at the forefront of its field through the human rights based approach it takes to its good governance mandate,” Judge Misa Boshier commented.
The Chief Ombudsman was able to meet the Acting Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Chairman of the P.S.C, Controller and Auditor General and Justice Sector officials and is taking the opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues in the Samoan judiciary.
Judge Misa Boshier reflected on the nature of Ombudspersons.
“It is essential to have an independent figure listen to the complaints of ordinary citizens and deal with issues of importance objectively, whilst holding Government accountable.”
“Samoa clearly recognizes the importance of the role of the Ombudsman in society and should be proud of the achievements of this office to date.
I am very pleased to have met a number of senior politicians and officials to convey my congratulations for the work of this office.”
Maiava thanked Judge Misa Boshier for the visit and the support received so far.
“Misa’s visit has given us the opportunity to explore international best practice and share ideas and information for the improvement of our respective offices.
We remain grateful for the moral and practical support we have received from his office and look forward to continuing this fruitful relationship.”