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Employment Authority Appointments Made

The Minister of Labour, Margaret Wilson has announced the first appointments to the Employment Relations Authority.

The Employment Relations Authority is a new body established by the Employment Relations Act. The Act came into effect on Monday.

The new authority is an investigative body that will deal with disputes which cannot be solved in mediation. The law under which it operates is substantially different from the law under which the old Employment Tribunal operated.

While many problems will be dealt with by the parties themselves or at mediation, some will need to be settled at the higher level of the Authority.

Applicants for the role of Authority member do not need to be lawyers, but a substantial undestanding of the law and legal processes is needed, along with the ability to understand the complexities of the employment environment.

"Now that the Act is in effect it has been possible to present the names of successful applicants to the Governor-General to allow warrants to be signed", said Ms Wilson.

"I'm delighted to have been able to present such strong applicants for appointment. Some are members of the Employment Tribunal which was set up under the old law. Others have gained their experience in different roles".

Ms Wilson thanked the members of the old Employment Tribunal, the functions of which are from this week being taken over by the Mediation Service and the Authority.

"I'm pleased to see that so many members of the Tribunal have found new roles in the structures created by the Employment Relations Act", said Ms Wilson.

Background

 Cabinet endorsed the recommendations this week.

 Authority members are not employees but statutory officers of the Crown. Mediators under the new law are employees of the Department of Labour.

 The Employment Relations Authority is established pursuant to sections 156-185 of the Employment Relations Act.

 The Tribunal remains in existence to deal with matters which arose under the old law. Its work will gradually wind down

Appointments

Chief

Mr Alistair Dumbleton has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since its inception in August 1991, becoming Chief of the Tribunal in mid 1995. Formerly a specialist in labour and employment law Mr Dumbleton acted as legal advisor to the New Zealand Airline Pilots Assn and was also District Solicitor, Auckland for the Department of Labour.

Members

Mr Denis Alan Asher has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since 1997 prior to which he was a senior legal consultant with the Public Service Association with 20 years experience in employment related matters as a union delegate and advisor, covering the wide range of issues inherent in that role. He appeared frequently before the Tribunal in adjudication and mediation roles.

Ms Susan Carol Bathgate is currently Chairperson of the Complaints Review Tribunal, a position she has held since 1996. Prior to this she was Chairperson of the Social Security Appeal Authority from 1988-96. Ms Bathgate has extensive legal experience which has included practising as a Barrister and Solicitor, acting as Counsel for the Child, and instructing professional legal studies courses at Victoria University of Wellington. She is a member of the Family Division Wellington District Legal Aid Committee, and a parent volunteer for the reading programme at a Wellington school.

Mr Philip Francis Cheyne is a solicitor of Christchurch, and runs his own legal practice. Prior to this he was employed as an Associate for Armargh Law and Aoraki Law. He has specialised for a number of years in employment law, having developed an interest in this while employed as a legal officer for the Canterbury Hotel Workers Union. Mr Cheyne is an experienced facilitator and is also involved in a range of community and volunteer activities, including being a Trustee of the Stop Trust and the Christchurch Community Law Centre.

Mr William Ralph Cameron Gardiner (Ngapuhi) has extensive industrial relations experience in both private and public sector roles. Serving as an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since its inception in August 1991, he was formerly a mediator of the Mediation Service in 1990, prior to which he was Senior Industrial Advocate for the Auckland Employers’ Association from 1979 – 1990.

Ms Julie Louisa Kemp has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since 1997. She was formerly a partner with the law firm of Hesketh Henry which she joined in July 1994 as a member of the employment, maritime and insurance law team. Prior to 1994 she worked for a number of Auckland law firms, gaining a wide variety of experience in all forms of litigation, though she has focused on employment law since 1991.

Dr Dzintra Maija King has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since September 1998 and has a diverse academic record including a Ph.D in English completed in 1984 and a Bachelor of Laws awarded in 1995. From 1987-1995 she was a union organiser, first for the Northern Local Government Officers’ Union then from 1993 with the Public Service Association.

Ms Rosemary Ann Monaghan has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since March 1994. Prior to that she was a staff solicitor with the Fortune Manning law partnership in Auckland, and from 1989-1993 was Solicitor/Advocate for the Auckland Employers’ Association, from 1987-1989 was Legal Officer for the New Zealand Airline Pilots Association and from 1985-1987 was editor for the Commerce Clearing House publications “New Zealand Employment Law” and the “New Zealand Employment Law Guide”. After completing her university studies Ms Monaghan was, for three years, an advisory officer with the Industrial Relations Service of the Department of Labour.

Ms Yvonne Sidney Oldfield has been in the industrial relations and employment law education sector since 1990: at Waikato University (1990-91) as a tutor of the Labour Relations Certificate; Auckland University (1991) as a tutor on Organisation and Management and Trade Union Studies; and Auckland Institute of Technology (1991) as a senior lecturer at the School of Management. Her previous positions include Legal Officer for the Northern Hotel Workers Union (1985-1989). Ms Oldfield has also written several publications on employment law and industrial relations. She was appointed as an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal in March 1994.

Mr Paul Rodney Stapp has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since its inception in August 1991. He was formerly a mediator with the Mediation Service and prior to that held senior advisory and management positions with the Industrial Relations Service of the Department of Labour.

Mr. Neville Barry Taylor has been engaged in legal practice in Christchurch since 1992 specialising in employment law acting for employers, employees and some unions. During the period 1986 – 1991, whilst undertaking his law degree at the University of Canterbury, he acted as a private consultant to employers, unions and employees. Earlier he worked for the NZ Electrical and Electronics Workers’ Union as Organiser/Research Officer and later as Assistant National Secretary. He is a trained teacher, and during the middle 1980s worked for the NZ Harbour Workers’ Union and the NZ Nurses’ Association.

Mr James (Jim) Vincent Wilson has worked in the Health Sector since 1968. Most recently, from 1991 – 1993 as Employee Relations Manager, Central Auckland Health District of the Auckland Area Health Board and from 1993 to the present as Employee Relations Manager, Auckland Healthcare Services.

Mr Gregory (Greg) Jowatt Wood has been an adjudicator and mediator member of the Employment Tribunal since January 1993 and prior to that had been employed, since 1987, in the Industrial Relations Service of the Department of Labour as an advisor and then senior advisor. He holds Bachelors degrees in both Arts and Laws.

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