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.
(items abridged in
italics for Northern Advocate copy)