Parliament

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

 

Whistle-Blowers the Victims – And Pressure on Them Again

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
17 MAY 2017

WHISTLE-BLOWERS THE VICTIMS – AND PRESSURE ON THEM AGAIN

Whistle-blowers are once again paying the price for speaking out – this time in the Ministry of Transport fraud case, says New Zealand First.

“Heat is being pushed on the whistle-blowers to speak out again as the PM wipes his hands of the case, and stands behind the then CEO who ignored the whistle-blowers and accepted the fraudster’s explanations,” says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The PM would do well to recall the criticism of psychiatric nurse Neil Pugmire by the National government of Jenny Shipley. Mr Pugmire risked his job by publicly warning that a patient was too dangerous to be freed from a secure wing at Lake Alice Hospital, after he got no traction from raising it internally.

“National criticised him and ignored the public outcry. Mr Pugmire lost his job, but he was right. The patient was released and went on to offend, sexually assaulting a boy and two other children.

“Mr Pugmire was the scapegoat of a government mess, as are the three former Ministry of Transport employees who lost their jobs. Whistle-blower legislation followed the Pugmire case but employees are still vulnerable if they speak out.

“Even the State Services Commission, which oversees government departments, is reluctant to investigate.

“State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes is reported as saying the case has been "the subject of a number of independent reviews which have considered all the available information.

“Is he suggesting that the whistle-blowers have to speak out again?

“The PM and the SSC have evidence aplenty that Mr Matthews did not react adequately to warnings of fraud, and Parliament was not told about the issue when he was appointed Auditor-General.

“Clearly the Protected Disclosures Act 2000 is not working, or the Ministry of Transport employees would never have lost their jobs.

“The Act requires internal procedures to be in place to allow for protected disclosures.

“These did not exist under Mr Matthews or the three whistle-blowers would not have lost their jobs.

“The law is supposed to encourage people to blow the whistle if they suspect serious wrong doing. No one will have any confidence now to blow the whistle. They will keep their heads down, and serious wrongdoings will occur.

“Mr Matthews must be stood down.

“The whistle-blowers must be compensated,” says Mr Peters.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Ch-Ch-Changes At IRD

job cuts aren’t happening at the IRD, exactly. Instead, there’s apparently a ‘transformation’ in store, and jobs won’t be axed ; no, they will be ‘transformed’ before our eyes into… non-jobs, if you happen to be among the unlucky legion of 1,900 who are being lined up for transformation, which seems to work rather like a secular version of the Rapture.

Except that at IRD, not even your shoes will be left behind. More>>

 

Christchurch Mental Health: Hospital Too 'Awful' For Reviewers To Visit

Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark... More>>

ALSO:

Greens Call For Govt Action: Children Sick Because Of NZ Housing

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians president-elect said today that children with preventable respiratory illnesses are being re-admitted to hospital because they're being sent back to cold, damp homes. More>>

ALSO:

Less Tax Cut, More Spending: Labour Launches Fiscal Plan

“Labour will invest $8 billion more in health, $4 billion more in education and $5 billion more for Kiwi families through Working for Families, Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment than the Budget 2017 projections for the forecast period.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Greens’ Room For Political Pragmatism

The Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats in Australia. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Being Humane About Welfare, Child Support, And Tax

It made for an unusual Venn diagram, but Greens co-leader Metiria Turei and Finance Minister Steven Joyce were briefly sharing some common elements this week in the set that says – hey, don’t use the powers of the state in ways guaranteed to make the system you’re trying to defend worse, not better. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election