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

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news