The Chief Ombudsman says her office is in a crisis and that it needs $1 million more a year in funding to get on top of its workload.
Beverley Wakem has appeared before Parliament's Government and Administration select committee.
She says the Office of the Ombudsmen - which deals with complaints about local and central government conduct - is funded to deal with between 800 and 1000 cases at one time.
Ms Wakem says the office currently has nearly 1900 cases to investigate.
There are more than 300 cases that can not be allocated as investigators are at their maximum workload.
She says the office is dealing with more than 270 complaints about the Earthquake Commission and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.