Getting to the bottom of it
Unprofessional office talk and behaviour forced the resignation of high profile Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority head Roger Sutton.
But what about a decision a few days later when a Hamilton Employment Relations Authority found that a slap by the boss on the bottom of a woman worker was in ‘‘the context of a joke between the boss and the complainant’’.
‘‘She was being cheeky about his floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom.
‘‘It was a one-off slap which I accept was a ‘fun slap’ – inappropriate and not to be repeated but not sexual harassment.’’
The woman resigned the day after the slap and later took a case against her former boss.
She also alleged previous incidents of sexual harassment involving at least six other women.
But the employment authority member found she and her partner, who also worked there, were not reliable witnesses.
Before you leap to your keyboard with mutterings about the decision being ‘‘a matter of blokes sticking together’’, the employment authority decision maker was a woman, Anna Fitzgibbon.
A question: The incident was in December 2013. Why has it taken so long to be decided? In the mailbag:
‘‘I enjoy your column so keep coming!
‘‘In my opinion two people are to
’em blame for the Phillip Smith/Traynor or alias, tragic and very expensive farce.
‘‘The first is the judge who in 1995 granted Smith bail on charges of serious sexual assault and intimidation against his young neighbour.
‘‘The second is the person who drove Smith from Carterton to his victim’s new, ‘secret’ Wellington home in breach of bail conditions. These two people still haven’t been charged with being accessories to aggravated burglary, murder and armed kidnapping.
‘‘If the judge had done his or her job properly and treated a violent paedophile as an actual criminal by remanding him in custody this unimaginable and ongoing trauma for the victims and their families would never have happened.’’ – Fiona Allen, Papatoetoe
‘‘I find it interesting that Helengrad has morphed into Len-ingrad in Auckland as Comrade Len and his cadres keep aiming to bankrupt the city with grand schemes which our great-grandchildren will still be paying for.
‘‘Wouldn’t it be great to have Auckland for Aucklanders instead of this ‘World’s Most Livable City’ which I, for one, am fed up with hearing about.
‘‘I came across this submitted to a magazine by Mrs B E Boccabella from Gennebank, Queensland, written by her late father, George Wallace, under the name of Miltspeare and felt it so apt for Auckland at present.’’ – Graham Simons
ONE civil servant with nothing to do
Got an assistant and then there were two.
TWO civil servants kept the job alive
’Til more were appointed and then there were five.
FIVE civil servants slaving with the pen
Formed a department and then there were 10.
TEN civil servants, you’d think would be plenty
But being a department, extended to 20.
civil servants with a head so haughty
Doubled the number and then there were 40
FORTY civil servants reasons good and weighty
Needed assistants and then there were 80.
So the game went on and on – it’s really rather fun
To make a hundred joblets where formerly was one.
Gone: Former high profile servant Roger Sutton resigned after sexual harassment allegations.