The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the Ombudsman Act 1984, with an office and staff set in 1985.

Our Vision - To Promote Fairness for All

Our Mission

The Ombudsman conducts independent and impartial investigations initiated upon receipt of complaints or acting on his own initiative.

The Ombudsman endeavours to strike a fair balance between what the public expects from government services and government that provides those services.

The Ombudsman aims to develop a public service culture which upholds fairness; fosters dedication and commitment; and promotes openness and accountability, taking into account our Cook Islands cultural values

Changes in core legislative functions

Since its establishment the Office was solely responsible for investigating complaints against Government Ministries and Crown Agencies under the Ombudsman Act 1984. In February 2008, this increased to include the Official Information Act 2008. This gave the Ombudsman the mandate to investigate and review complaints about decisions made by Ministries, Ministers of the Crown and Crown Agencies on requests for official information held by the Cook Islands Government.

The Disability Act 2008 gave the Ombudsman the role of investigating complaints where people living with a disability or their agent, feel that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability.

In 2012, the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman was further increased to include the Police Act 2012. This empowered the Ombudsman to investigate complaints in terms of the conduct of police officers, issues relating to policies and procedures. The role of the Ombudsman is the equivalent of the role of the New Zealand Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Ombudsman Nooapii Tearea

Nooapii Tearea was born in Atiu and hails from the Paruarangi Tribe and Ngamaru Ariki of Nga-Pu-Toru.  He is affectionately known to many as Nono.

Nono is married to Blue Matara Paora Tekii (11/10/1978) and have five girls and a boy, with ten grandchildren.  Nono has one step daughter and a feeding daughter.

Nono was appointed Deacon of the Nikao Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) in 2002 and currently holds the position of the Chairperson for the Tapere Pokoinu, Nikao Delegate to the Rarotonga CICC Konitara Ekalesia, Nikao Delegate to the CICC General Assembly, Secretary of the CICC Review Committee.

Nono also holds the position of Chairperson to the Atiu Nikao Community, Chairperson to the Pokoinu Neighbourhood Watch.

Our Values

Quality

Integrity

Customer Service

Productivity

Honesty

Impartiality

Transparency

Accountability

Our Team & Structure

The Ombudsman by virtue of the Ombudsman Act 1984 is an officer of and responsible to Parliament.  This means that the Ombudsman reports to the Speaker of Parliament as the ‘controller of Parliament’. Ombudsman Nooapii Tearea is supported by Deputy Ombudsman Jeannine Daniel, Senior Investigation Officer Elizabeth Nootai, Senior Investigation Officer Joyce Ingram and Finance & Administration Officer, Ethel Pokia.

Deputy Ombudsman Daniel is responsible for the Managing the annual budget and business plans of the office, all investigations and is the Human Resources Manager and oversees the Finance & Management division of the office.Senior Investigation Officers are responsible for the investigation of all complaints received by the office including own motion investigations initiated by the Ombudsman.The Finance & Administration officer is responsible for the finance and administration support of the office.  She is also responsible for the administration of complaints case files.

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Nooapii Tearea

Ombudsman
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Jeannine Daniel

Deputy Ombudsman
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Ethel Pokia

Finance and Administration Officer
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Joyce Ingram

Senior Investigations Officer
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Elizabeth Nootai

Senior Investigations Officer