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HPT payout standard employment practice

21 March 2001 Media Statement

HPT payout standard employment practice

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Judith Tizard, said today that the Historic Places Trust settlement raised in Parliament was confidential and was paid as part of an agreement to withdraw a personal grievance.

"National MP Dr Nick Smith is as usual wrong on almost every count. The payment he was alluding to was not a golden handshake, and nor was it at the level he suggested," Judith Tizard said.

"The Prime Minister stated in response to a question today that she was advised that total payments made in relation to two cases was about $30,500.

"No more detail is available because the settlements were confidential, but even Dr Smith should be able to work out that if two settlements added up to $30,500, then neither could have been greater than $50,000.

"Dr Smith, in trying to claim some impropriety, is also wrong. As the minister responsible I was advised that a modest payment had been made. The then chief executive had kept the board advised during the process and the trust's legal advisers had in fact conducted all negotiations.

"The legal advice the board received indicated that even if the Historic Places Trust was successful in defending the personal grievance claim, the legal costs would probably have exceeded the proposed payment.

"The trust board's chairperson, Dame Catherine Tizard, informed me as responsible minister that a modest termination settlement had been reached and that the board retained full confidence in the then chief executive," Judith Tizard said.


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