New Zealand Whistleblowers
New Zealand Whistleblowers
By Jessica Woods
A 100% New Zealand owned and operated business is providing a revolutionary new service that has the potential to transform the way Whistleblowing is viewed and handled. With recent headlines in the media such as ‘Pike River mine disaster could have been avoided if we had a culture of anonymous disclosure,’ ‘Second whistleblower raises concerns over disability provider,’ and ‘Calls to dob in unsafe tree fellers’ we feel that New Zealanders should be better informed of the services we provide in order to avoid another disaster.
New Zealand Whistleblowers (NZWB) is a service that provides anonymity for the whistleblower while informing managers of issues within the business. NZWB acts as a neutral third party and provides companies with the opportunity to remedy the situation before it reaches the media. The third party nature of the service also means that the issue can be raised without the whistleblower being identified. To date, companies mainly rely on internal whistleblowing services that often result in victimisation or in some cases termination of employment.
Whistleblowers face considerable personal hardship which often deters employees to act when they witness unethical or unlawful behaviour. An internal whistleblowing system relies heavily on the trust that information can be given anonymously and will not result in retaliation. However, recent cases involving the mining and forestry industries, surrounding non-compliance of guidelines and policies have highlighted that whistleblowers do not feel protected enough to come forward with this information. The duty to report incidence is often overridden by the fear of being fired, ostracised or the feeling of breaking an oath of loyalty to their employer.
The numerous cases surrounding the lack of information provided indicate a gap in the current system. NZ Whistleblowers provides an invaluable service that takes into account the compromised situation that workers are in.
Under current legislation, there is little protection for whistleblowers outside government agencies. Employees are encouraged to speak out and behave ethically, without being offered any certified safeguards. When making a protected disclosure under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, the employee is required to make a claim in accordance with the organisations internal procedures. This poses an issue in regards to anonymity and assumes that all companies have a current internal procedure in place. The suggestion to make a protected disclosure to the head of the organisation when no procedure is in place can be potentially detrimental to the financial security and personal safety of the whistleblower. Following this suggestion, it is proposed that the employee makes a protected disclosure to the appropriate authority. This does not give the opportunity for the company to internally remedy the situation. In order for whistleblowing activities to be effective, the process must provide anonymity and be a mechanism for timely disclosure.
We feel that New Zealand Whistleblowers provides the answer to these issues. NZWB offers a neutral third party service for companies that can be integrated into any entities current system. This offers the entities employees with a protected avenue for disclosure of corrupt activities. This also provides the managers with the opportunity to remedy a situation before the problem can cause irreversible damage. Stakeholders and shareholders can also benefit from this service, as they can feel safe in the knowledge that the entity is doing its very best to discover issues and protect its employees.
About New Zealand Whistleblowers
New Zealand Whistleblowers first began offering its services in 2011 and is a 100% New Zealand owned and operated company. New Zealand Whistleblowers is a division of internationalwhistleblowers.com that offers similar services but on a global scale.
NZWB provides a confidential conduit for the communication of information. NZWB acts as the third party to gather and disseminate information between concerned citizens, whilst maintaining complete confidentiality and anonymity for the Information Provider, Employee, and the Whistleblower.
For further information, please visit http://whistleblowers.co.nz/