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2013 Publications

10 December 2013

English batsman Jonathan Trott has returned home from the Ashes cricket series that is under way in Australia.

Trott has been one of England's most prolific run-scorers in recent years. However, he was dismissed cheaply twice by Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson during the first test match of the series.  More...

26 November 2013

Christmas has arrived. I have been to my first Christmas party for the year and invitations to others are flooding in.

Office Christmas parties are a time for staff to let their hair down, enjoy themselves and relax at the end of what has no doubt been a busy and demanding year.

There are times however where employees take the informality of a social office gathering a little too far and quickly find themselves in hot water.  
More...

12 November 2013

New Zealanders have been shocked by recent developments in the "Roast Busters" investigation being undertaken by New Zealand police.

Members of a Facebook group calling themselves Roast Busters have boasted online about getting young women drunk and engaging in sexual activity with them, without consent. Some of the victims are believed to have been under age.  More...

29 October 2013

COMMODORE Kevin Keat was recently dismissed from the Defence Force following an affair with an unnamed female civilian subordinate. At the time of his dismissal he was the assistant chief of personnel – the navy’s third highest position.

This saga has two different aspects to it. The first is the sexual relationship with the subordinate which went on for a reasonable length of time. The affair commenced in 2008 and Keat, who is married, claimed it ended in 2010. The woman disagreed and claimed it went through to December 2012.  More...

16 October 2013

Many readers will have found themselves locked out of work as a result of the recent Wellington earthquakes.

Many businesses, particularly those in the CBD's high-rise buildings, had to send staff home for a few days. Some buildings that I can see from my office are still empty. Employers will have lost productivity while workers, potentially, lost pay. But who carries the loss for this so-called act of God? The building owner, the employer or the worker?  More...

17 September 2013

Many readers will be following the enthralling battle for the America's Cup between Emirates Team NZ and Oracle Team USA in San Francisco. It has been 10 long years since Team NZ lost the cup to Swiss syndicate Alinghi, so here's hoping we will finally see it return. It is not just the racing that has been in the news, however; many readers will also have followed the cheating scandal that enveloped the weeks leading up to the America's Cup match.  More...

6 September 2013

New Zealand women have a history of actively pursuing their rights. In 1893 New Zealand was the first self-governing country to give women the vote. One hundred and 20 years later a Lower Hutt rest-home worker is continuing the tradition, this time for equal pay. Kristine Bartlett has become the beacon of hope for low-paid women in the aged-care sector who are seeking to breathe life into the provisions of the Equal Pay Act 1972.  More...

20 August 2013

It has been an eventful couple of weeks in the world of employment relations. We have seen significant safety legislative reforms unveiled as well as some colourful disputes expose human frailty. The most important development is, of course, the proposed changes to health and safety law recently announced by Labour Minister Simon Bridges.  More...

6 August 2013

Sports stars and their coaches at the highest level are international celebrities. So much of what they do ends up on the front pages of the world's media.  Coaches are employed on contracts that can be event based or results driven. Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach, for example, is employed until the end of the Rugby World Cup. Whether his employment continues may well depend on how the team performs at rugby's showcase event.  A successful coach may get a knighthood - look at Sir Graham Henry and Sir Alex Ferguson, whereas those who don't perform will often lose their positions and be forced to go quietly.  However, there are some who don't.  More...

23 July 2013

Readers will be aware that the Government has proposed several changes to the Employment Relations Act - changes which have aroused the ire of the unions.  Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly has called for select committee hearings throughout the country. Despite submissions on the changes closing on July 25, the CTU plans to embark on several months of campaigning, including nationwide rallies.  More...

10 July 2013

Readers may be aware that big changes are afoot at New Zealand Post.  The state-owned postal service is discontinuing 500 part-time and full-time roles. Although 380 new roles will be created, that still leaves a net loss of 120 positions.  More...

18 June 2013

Peter Dunne is a popular local MP who has served residents in the Ohariu area for almost 30 years. He has been well-respected and been a member of governments led by both Labour and National. Earlier this month he resigned from his position as revenue minister following allegations that he leaked to the media a confidential report on GCSB spying. Dunne denies leaking the report. However, his refusal to provide emails between him and Dominion Post reporter Andrea Vance to an investigation into the leak has proven his undoing.  More...

4 June 2013

Marc Krieger was an unhappy whistleblower. He formerly worked at the Earthquake Commission (EQC) contacts centre and handled the investigation of complaints. He was also a member of the Official Information Act team.

Krieger had concerns about what was going on at the EQC. He tried to raise them directly with the minister responsible, Gerry Brownlee. His concerns were, not surprisingly, ignored by Brownlee's office. Krieger was then promptly summoned to a disciplinary meeting, which, he claims, was a result of reaching out to Brownlee. He received a written warning but ultimately elected to resign.

On leaving the EQC, Krieger continued his crusade by setting up a blog, EQC Truths, where he publicly described his experiences and concerns with the EQC. More...

21 May 2013

One day far far away, winter will visit wonderful Wellington.

Should our Indian summer end, colds, flu and sniffles will return. Sometimes there may even be malingering. But what does the law have to say about the worker who uses their sick leave for other purposes?

Paul Marshallsea and his wife were on sick leave for work-related stress when they turned up on holiday in Australia far from their employer. Both were employed by a children's charity in Methyr Tydfil, a borough in southern Wales. But while enjoying a barbecue on Bullet beach, a shark was spotted near where young children were playing. Being a good Samaritan, Marshallsea ran into the waves and, believe it or not, grabbed the 6-foot shark and proceeded to drag it into deeper water away from the children. More...

7 May 2013

Pope Francis has criticised the working conditions of Bangladeshi workers caught in a building collapse. More than 600 people are confirmed to have died in the building, which was home to several factories making clothes for Western companies.

At the same time as the Pope levelled his criticisms, an independent task force on workplace health and safety in New Zealand produced its report. The report was commissioned by the Government and is the culmination of 11 months of consultation and investigation.

9 April 2013

Controversy surrounds the process followed to appoint Ian Fletcher as Director of the Government Communications and Security Bureau (GCSB). A lot has been made of the fact that Prime Minister John Key and Fletcher had a limited family friendship and that Key phoned Fletcher to suggest he apply for the job.  More...

26 March 2013

Few things rouse public anger quite as much as the payment of huge golden handshakes, particularly to people who are seen as poor performers when the taxpayer is funding the payout.  More...

12 March 2013

Employment relationships are always seen as very personal. It is the personality and the qualifications of the individual employed that are critical. The employee has a duty to personally perform the tasks they are assigned.  This is so self-evident that it is very rarely the subject of litigation. But not so in the United States.  A software developer, who is referred to as ‘Bob’, was removed from his position after he outsourced his own role to a Chinese consulting firm.  More...

26 February 2013

The Australian Crime Commission report that alleges widespread doping and illegal drug use in Australian sport has shaken the Australian sporting establishment and sports followers generally.

In response, our Sport Minister Murray McCully has ordered government officials to evaluate the need for a similar doping probe in New Zealand. More...

12 February 2013

It seems that Lady Gaga’s former personal assistant, Jennifer O’Neill, might be helped by a New Zealand Employment Court decision.  More...

29 January 2013

Zac Guildford is sadly once again featuring prominently in newspapers for another alcohol-related incident. More...

Cullen - The Employment Law Firm is one of only eleven law firms in New Zealand approved to provide employment law services to Government and the public sector.

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