Whistleblowers – Northern Advocate – 14th February 2012

It is perhaps timely to remind people of an Act that is in New Zealand Legislation.  It is the ‘Protected Disclosures Act 2000’ or more commonly called the “whistleblowers act”. 

This Act is to protect individuals, employees and contractors for Immunity from Civil and Criminal Proceedings, Personal Grievance and other such issues that arise when people are brave enough to speak out about bullying or wrong doings in their workplaces, without fear of retaliatory repercussions against them by employers. 

There are many people employed in organisations, especially those funded by donations, taxpayer or ratepayer dollars, that may be privy to behaviour or practices that may not be totally above board.  Some of those people are fearful to “blow the whistle” in the risk of losing their employment.  Some people believe because they have signed confidentiality agreements that they can’t speak out. This Act enables them to disclose such information, thus enabling best business practice to continue whilst exposing or weeding out those persons or policies that may not be legitimate.

The Protected Disclosures Act 2000 is available on line at http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2000/0007/latest/DLM53466.html   or copies are available by contacting the Parliamentary Counsel Office, PO Box 18 070, Wellington 6160, New Zealand. 

It is most important to fully read and understand the Act to ensure you understand what it offers in the form of protection before disclosing information about your present or past employment. 

I also assure confidentiality to people who come forward with information in my quest for openness and transparency in local body politics in Whangarei.  My reports of council meetings are regular on the “What’s Up’’ page of my website www.warrenslater.co.nz   

As always I look forward to information received in an endeavour to make Whangarei an even better place to live, work and play in.

Warren Slater


(items abridged in italics for Northern Advocate copy)