Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


City not required to consult on Birch report


24 March 2003

Auckland City not required to consult on
Birch report – court ruling

A decision handed down today in the Employment Court ruled that a “proposal” for the purposes of the Employment Relations Act (ERA) does not include a consultant’s proposals or recommendations (such as those in the Birch Report) put forward for an employer to consider.

Auckland City welcomes this finding as it was the central issue that the PSA had taken to court.

The council is concerned that the Employment Court went on to make findings against the council on a number of ancillary matters. The court ruled that the council was in breach of the ERA in terms of its good faith obligations by not consulting with the PSA early enough.

The Court said “the Council deserves credit” for the way it consulted with affected and potentially affected staff. However, the council finds it surprising that the court ruled that this consultation should have included the PSA even though the council believed no PSA members were potentially affected.

The council is also concerned that this decision has wide ramifications for all employers as the court appears to have extended the definition of good faith under the act where it relates to proposals that may affect staff.

The court has effectively said that it’s not enough to act fairly, but employers will have to be “energetic in positively displaying good faith behaviour”.

Auckland City’s chief executive Bryan Taylor welcomed the central finding that it did not need to consult with the union when it commissioned the Birch Report.

Mr Taylor said, “The council has always attempted to act as a good employer and to treat its staff fairly and in good faith. This is a responsibility we take very seriously.

“We are therefore surprised that the court has found against the council on the issue of good faith by giving a very wide definition to this previously untested area of the law. This ruling could have significant adverse consequences for all employers.”

Mr Taylor says, “It is disappointing that the full court’s lengthy decision still doesn’t provide employers with clarity about what constitutes a ‘proposal’ under the Employment Relations Act.”

The council is considering whether to appeal.


Ref: GB

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election