Whistleblowers Deserve Compensation

Public servants who blew the whistle on fraud in the Ministry of Transport should never have lost their jobs – they deserve compensation as the State Services Commission has found, says New Zealand First.

"This is a wake up-call for New Zealand and shows what weak protections we have for whistle-blowers,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“We cannot expect public servants to speak out if they continue to be treated like this.

“In this case, Joanne Harris defrauded a government agency of $725,000 and despite warnings from staff, the chief executive at the time failed to act. They lost their jobs, he went on to be appointed Auditor-General and is still in that post.

“There is nothing decent or fair about this.

“Did he or the government spare a thought for those who lost their jobs?

“The honest New Zealanders who did the right thing.

“They exhibited traits we value in a fair and civil society.

“Clearly it’s safer to put your head down, let the crime go on and collect your pay each week.

“They will get compensation now but we all know that once made redundant it is often hard to get another job. There’s a permanent smudge on one’s CV.

“These staff deserve our admiration instead of suffering the typical response that whistle-blowers get in this country,” says Mr Peters.