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Govt must investigate BOP DHB’s staff bullying processes

Call for the Government to investigate Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s staff bullying investigation processes.

The Bay of Plenty’s District Health Board’s processes around staff bullying is being questioned regarding the health and safety of its employees, says Culture Safe NZ director Allan Halse.

“Currently I am managing two cases bullying cases where the DHB’s handling of the situation must be questioned by the government.

“The cases involve one nurse and a Cardiac Physiologist/Echo cardiographer who have laid complaints about not only bullying, but also about the process.

“It’s totally unacceptable for staff who feel vulnerable to be subjected to processes that doesn’t allow for whanau, family or professional representation,” said Halse.

“It’s time for the leaders of the District Health Board to engage constructively, to fix their processes around workplace bullying. The solution is in talking, not sweeping it under the Employment Relations Act 2000 as just a workplace dispute.

“And the governance board needs to actively question the leadership’s handling of bullying issues.

“The opportunity is to promote better workplace practices, promote a better culture within the District Health Board and its employees.

“My end goal is to reduce harm to my clients and to help the District Health Board’s leadership to positively and actively engage to eradicate bullying and any bullying culture.

“Victims don’t have to be victims. People going through a bullying process should feel supported, not let down by the process.

“I’m seeking a positive and open conversation with the District Health Board, however, they have ignored that openness, so now it’s time for the Government and the governance of the health board to help the victims of bullying behaviour and toxic cultures,” Halse said.

CultureSafe NZ is New Zealand’s leading agency on supporting thinking about workplace bullying, and helping both clients and businesses regarding bullying issues.


1. Link to the Prime Minister’s mental health inquiry https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/inquiry-improve-mental-health-services

2. The cost of bullying to the economy is unquantified in New Zealand. In Australia figures for bullying equate to $36 billion a year.

3. A NZ study had shown that throughout New Zealand 1 in 5 people are bullied in the workplace.


That’s equivalent to 400,000 New Zealanders who are subject to some form of bullying in the work force


Australian Anti-Bullying Legislation (Brodie’s Law)

Victoria’s anti-bullying legislation, known as Brodie’s Law, commenced in June 2011 and made serious bullying a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Brodie’s Law was introduced after the tragic suicide of a young woman, Brodie Panlock, who was subjected to relentless bullying in her workplace.

Brodie’s Law makes serious bullying a criminal offence by extending the application of the stalking provisions in the Crimes Act 1958 to include behaviour that involves serious bullying.

The offence of stalking, and therefore conduct that amounts to serious bullying, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.



In Victoria Australia, there is a special law against the workplace bullies.


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