6 January 2021
The Board would like to advise Members that the CEO has been reinstated.
This follows an independent process that was set up but unable to proceed in full.
Members are advised that a Terms of Reference (TOR) was drafted for the Inquiry and amendments were made following initial discussions with the complainants. This is available below - some details have been redacted to protect the privacy of the individuals.
Investigations such as these are carried out in a professional and confidential manner. To ensure fairness to each of the complainants, and to the CEO, the Queen’s Council lawyer, Ms Kristy McDonald ONZM QC, engaged to undertake the process in an impartial manner, proposed each complainant receive access to the parts of the report as it applied to them. This is professional practice but was not accepted by the complainants. Whilst several efforts were made by the QC to meet the wishes of the complainants for near on four months, the process stalled.
The Board wants to assure Members that it takes allegations of this nature very seriously. The Board also acknowledges the desire for Members to be kept informed but as it has been an employment matter (not a public enquiry), the Board has limited its disclosures. This has been challenging after the allegations, and the employee’s name, were disclosed in full to the media before the Inquiry started.
The Board, and the QC on the Board’s instruction, made a significant effort to ensure the investigation was fair and balanced for all, and that it was conducted in a manner that was consistent with its legal obligations to all parties, including meeting natural justice (a fair hearing), employment and privacy obligations.
The Board acknowledges the strain this has placed on many and asks Members to show professionalism towards all parties involved.