Whistle-blowers shouldn't suffer for speaking out - expert

Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Thursday, 20 July 2017, 5:47PM
Joanne Harrison appears in the Manulkau District Court for sentencing in a fraud case involving the Ministry of Transport in February 2017. (Photo / NZME)

Potential whistle-blowers are being reminded they don't have to suffer, for speaking out.

The State Services Commission's found Ministry of Transport fraudster Joanne Harrison did not have a say in the redundancies of three staff who'd complained about her but she made it happen sooner, and the staff suffered undue hurt and humiliation.

READ MORE: Transport whistleblowers 'forced out' and deserve compo - SSC

Lawyer Don McKinnon told Rachel Smalley New Zealand's strong, low corruption record must be maintained and it's important employees know their options when they see wrongdoing.

"You can dob in your boss, you can dob in an employee and you can work through a normal employment process or particularly if you work in a public entity you can go down a very formal protected disclosure path."

McKinnon said employees of public entities can go down a very formal, protected disclosure path when outing wrongdoing.

"The individuals in this case went down the more informal approach and ultimately they have been found to ve vindicated by they certainly suffered along the way."

Harrison was jailed for three years and seven months for defrauding the ministry of $725,000.


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