New Zealand Law Society - Workshop to look into review of Protected Disclosures Act

Workshop to look into review of Protected Disclosures Act

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A workshop is being held on 12 March that will focus on the implications for the law sector of the Government’s planned review of the so-called whistleblowers Act.

The workshop, being held at the offices of the State Services Commission in Wellington, was scheduled for 20 February but postponed due to the effects of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The Minister of State Services, Chris Hipkins, says work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000. The rescheduled workshop will focus on the business, law and finance sector.

The Act aims to promote the public interest by facilitating the disclosure and investigation of serious wrongdoing in the workplace, and providing protection for individuals who report concerns.

Mr Hipkins says the Government is exploring whether the law and procedures to protect whistle blowers need to be strengthened. One workshop has already been held involving people from the health, safety and social sector, and another on the unions and employee perspective.

“Getting this right is critical to building public confidence in the integrity of government and business in New Zealand,” Mr Hipkins says.

“It is crucial that employees feel safe to report cases of serious misconduct. Anyone who raises issues of serious misconduct or wrongdoing needs to have faith that their role, reputation, and career development will not be jeopardised when speaking up.

“The first step in this review is to identify possible gaps and weaknesses in the current Act.” 

Feedback from the workshops will inform the next step in the process, including the issue of a wider public discussion.