Office of the Ombudsman: Learning about the Official Information Act and putting it into action

[music plays] My name is James Barr, I’m 15 years old and I go to saint john’s college. my name is Ishan Parmar I Am 15 years old and I’m a year 11 at st john’s college. We have been studying the official information act in business studies over the past year And we decided to look into some the reports of places of detention the ombudsman had done reports on and we found things from hawkes bay regional prison,Christchurch mens prison, whanganui. And we found shocking things. we saw that the bedding was inadequate the mattresses were moldy, stained and in very bad condition. We also learnt many prisoners did not feel safe in the prison. we wanted to do something that would catch the public eye and would get attention on this matter. And we chose to sit specifically cage because we believe that was a representation of the prison. if we did it on a school day, it would grab more public attention and get more people to talk with us. They’d be curious why we weren’t in school. And it worked, it succeeded, We talked to hundreds and hundreds of people during the day. My name is Paul Melloy principal of St John’s College when I realised what it was about and spoke to them, I was actually quite proud of what they were doing. it wasn’t just a protest and it wasn’t just an immature protest. If you listened to what they were were saying they had had solutions as well. So James was particularly clear he said he wanted more money for mental health, which was causing an issue, and he wanted a drug court in the Hawkes bay. I believe that not many secondary students know what official information act is I believe they should know about it I believe it should be more commonly taught at schools and pushed more commonly on platforms such as social media. young people do have an interest in in politics, internal affairs things like that.

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