Former Min­is­ter’s lawyer dis­puted bruis­ing al­le­ga­tion

Rotorua Daily Post - - OUR PEOPLE -

A redacted ver­sion of a re­port into an al­le­ga­tion of staff bul­ly­ing against former Gov­ern­ment min­is­ter Meka Whaitiri has fi­nally been re­leased.

The re­port, by Welling­ton lawyer David Pat­ten, con­firms what was said in a Her­ald re­port which said the new staff mem­ber was left with bruis­ing af­ter the en­counter with Whaitiri at an event at­tended by Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern in Gis­borne on Au­gust 27.

“Af­ter giv­ing care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to this mat­ter, it is my view that the ex­pla­na­tion pro­vided to me by Em­ployee A is a more prob­a­ble ex­pla­na­tion as to what hap­pened than the ex­pla­na­tion pro­vided to me by the Min­is­ter. That is, rather than the en­counter be­tween the two of them in the foyer be­ing a face-to-face en­counter as de­scribed to me by the Min­is­ter, the Min­is­ter in fact ap­proached Em­ployee A from slightly be­hind and grabbed Em­ployee A by the arm,” Pat­ten said in the re­port.

“Af­ter con­sid­er­ing this mat­ter and, in par­tic­u­lar, hav­ing re­gard to the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided to me by Em­ployee A, I find that the Min­is­ter did not pull and/or drag Em­ployee A from the foyer. She did take Em­ployee A out­side the build­ing where the meet­ing was tak­ing place.”

Whaitiri has dis­puted el­e­ments of the re­port, and among the doc­u­ments re­leased yes­ter­day is a redacted copy of a let­ter from her lawyer’s firm Simp­son Gri­er­son to Pat­ten.

It refers to a “threat­en­ing email” sent to the Prime Min­is­ter on Septem­ber 29 at 8.18am, which Simp­son Gri­er­son lawyer Sally McKech­nie said con­tained strong lan­guage to de­scribe the al­leged events.

The email was sent by a per­son

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