Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Protected Disclosures Bill in the House

The Government will strengthen legislation protecting workers who disclose information on serious wrongdoings in their workplace to include the private sector.

State Services Minister Trevor Mallard said that a Supplementary Order Paper to the Protected Disclosures Bill would be introduced to Parliament next week. It would extend the bill's coverage to the private sector and would be more closely in line with the intent of the original bill and the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill introduced by Labour MP Phil Goff.

"The previous Government gutted the original bill during the select committee process," Trevor Mallard said.

"National never wanted to address this issue, but when Phil Goff's bill was drawn from the member's bill ballot they realised that public demand for such legislation was high and they would be heavily criticised if they voted against it.

"Their response was to introduce the Protected Disclosures Bill, which originally covered the private sector. However, I understand Ministers at the time instructed Government members of the Justice and Law Reform Select Committee to severely water it down by removing the private sector from the bill.

"About half the submissions at the time requested this. However, many of them were 'generic' type submissions lead by the Business Roundtable. An analysis of the submissions showed powerful support for inclusion of the private sector and the new Government is following their arguments.

"We believe that both public and private sector workers have a right to certain protection.
Currently there is no protection available to an employee who discloses, in good faith and in an appropriate manner, a matter of serious wrongdoing. Nor is there any general statutory immunity from civil or criminal liability.

"It is important that employees of all organisations – private or public – are in a position to make protected disclosures about serious wrongdoing in or by their organisations. To not make this protection available to employees of private companies is to condone wrongdoing in the private sector and could put the public at risk.

"For example, serious medical malpractice is a proper matter of public interest whether it occurs in a public hospital or a private hospital. Hazardous dumping of noxious waste is a public safety issue no matter who does the dumping."

Trevor Mallard also paid tribute to Wanganui nurse Neil Pugmire who inspired the original whistleblowers bill.

"He felt so strongly about the fact that certain individuals who were a danger to the community were being discharged from hospital that he told one of my colleagues. He paid a high price for that disclosure. Two young boys who one of the patients tried to strangle and rape paid an even higher price," Trevor Mallard said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

State Highways: $1.4 Billion For Road Safety Improvements

The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kilometres of high volume, high-risk State Highways safer by 2021 with improvements like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening. More>>

ALSO:

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>

ALSO:

Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>

ALSO:

Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels