Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Whittall’s lawyers happy to make letters public

Original release: Media_Release__28_2_2014.pdf


Media Release
28 February 2014

Whittall’s lawyers happy to make letters public

This media release is made by Stuart Grieve QC and Stacey Shortall of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, who acted for Peter Whittall in his defence of the health and safety charges brought by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (now WorkSafe).

There has never been any intention on Mr Whittall`s behalf to be anything other than open about what his lawyers know about the circumstances in which the Ministry decided not to proceed.

In light of certain statements reported yesterday, Mr Grieve QC has today written to the Ministry’s lawyer asking him to support Mr Grieve's intention to ensure that WorkSafe accurately represents to the New Zealand public what occurred in relation to the Ministry’s decision to offer no evidence in support of the charges.

This is important because, as Mr Whittall's lawyers see it, the way this matter has developed with regard to their role in the process which led to the charges being dismissed is being misrepresented.

Any suggestion it was Mr Whittall's defence team who initiated discussions about the prosecution being resolved without trial is incorrect. It was the Ministry which initiated discussions about the possibility of a resolution in July 2013.

Mr Whittall's lawyers had been writing to the Ministry since May 2013 expressing concerns about the integrity of the Ministry’s investigation and disclosure process. These were significant issues that the defence believed, and still believe, went to the heart of whether the prosecution against Mr Whittall could ever succeed. Such concerns were described in memoranda filed with the District Court in May, July and August 2013.

It was made clear to Mr Whittall's lawyers that any payment to the families and survivors could not be made in sole return for the charges being dismissed. This position was accepted by the defence team, even though they believed funds could be better used by the families and survivors than paid to lawyers to defend what they considered to be a flawed case.

Three letters were sent by Mr Grieve QC to the Ministry’s lawyer regarding resolution of the prosecution without the need for a very lengthy and expensive trial at which the various allegations would be the subject of detailed challenge. The first letter was sent on 7 August 2013. The second letter was Sent on 16 October 2013. At the Ministry’s request, in early December 2013, that letter was amended to accommodate the Ministry’s position that the payment be made into the District Court instead of using a trust structure. The amended letter also contained a new paragraph 2 which set out matters which the Ministry suggested should be added to the letter. The letter was nearly identical to the original 16 October version and not "sanitised" in any fashion.

Neither Mr Whittall nor Mr Grieve have any issue with any of their letters on this matter being made public. As a matter of protocol, WorkSafe will need to mutually agree.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Sparks Fly: Gordon Campbell On China Steel Dumping Allegations

No doubt, officials on the China desk at MFAT have prided themselves on fashioning a niche position for New Zealand right in between the US and China – and leveraging off both of them! Well, as the Aussies would say, of MFAT: tell ‘em they’re dreaming. More>>

ALSO:

Loan Sharks: Finance Companies Found Guilty Of Breaching Fair Trading Act

Finance companies Budget Loans and Evolution Finance, run by former 1980s corporate high-flyer Allan Hawkins, have been found guilty of 106 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act for misleading 21 borrowers while enforcing loan contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Post Panama Papers: Govt To Adopt Shewan's Foreign Trust Recommendations

The government will adopt all of the recommendations from former PwC chairman John Shewan to increase disclosure and introduce a register for foreign trusts with new legislation to be introduced next month. More>>

ALSO:

The Price Of Cheese: Cheddar At Eight-Year Low

Food prices decreased 0.5 percent in the year to June 2016, influenced by lower grocery food prices (down 2.3 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. Compared with June 2015, cheese prices were down 9.5 percent, fresh milk was down 3.9 percent, and yoghurt was down 9.2 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Financial Advisers: New 'Customer-First' Obligations

Goldsmith plans to do away with the current adviser designations which he says have been "unsatisfactory" in that some advisers are obliged to disclose potential conflicts of interest and act in their customers' best interests, but others are not. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news