A more than 900% spike in police call-outs to just five Rotorua emergency housing motels can finally be revealed after the Ombudsman ruled data requested by Stuff a year-and-a-half ago, which the police admitted “paints a very unattractive picture”, should be released.

Back in January 2022, Stuff asked police to provide data on the number of times they had been called to five motels in 2016 – before their use for emergency accommodation – and also in 2020 and 2021.

Police declined to provide that information, citing privacy reasons and commercial interests. Stuff referred the matter to the Ombudsman and more than 18 months later, it ruled police should hand over the data.

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That is the typical length of time required to get an Ombudsman ruling nowadays. Waikanae Watch is still waiting for an Ombudsman’s ruling that KCDC’s Mr Power must release an unredacted account of communications between him, the council and Air Chathams since 2020.