Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 10 November 2011 Contents HOT TOPIC
Page 6 | 10 November, 2011
This may sound like stating the
obvious, but taking simple security
precautions does reduce crime.
Lately some of the crimes reported
to local police have had some
frustrating repetitive themes
running through them.
Unlawfully taken vehicles; the
last few without exception have
not just been unlocked, but the
owners have left the keys in the
ignition. An oversight or habit?
Does it get any easier for the
prospective joy rider?
We hear quite a lot of: "I don't
lock the house, garage, car as we
live in a safe town". Then there
appears to be some surprise when
things are stolen or an intruder
is found wandering around the
We are fortunate that the crime
rate in our piece of paradise
gives us the feeling of safety and
security day to day. What we must
remember is that not all crime is
committed by 'career' criminals.
Much of the low level crime we
experience is opportunistic and
often committed by those who
are intoxicated. We are giving the
'would be' thief an easy target
which they might not otherwise
be looking for. Please take some
simple steps to reduce this sort of
On other matters we are at the
time of year when everyone starts
getting into the summer and
festive spirit. Much of this is just
part of summer which we all enjoy,
however a few simple things can
help reduce any negative effects.
Some of the most common
incidents we attend through the
coming months involve teenagers
and alcohol. Parents, please keep
tabs on your kids. Discuss where
they will be and if there is going to
be alcohol involved. Know where
they are and ensure that there is
some responsible supervision if
they are at gatherings.
Assist them in getting home safely.
Remember there is a 'Zero Alcohol
Limit' for under 20's now.
If, as a parent, you are having
issues with your teenager that you
feel you are struggling with please
feel free to discuss with your local
police. We can help with a range of
ideas and referral services.
Until next time enjoy the summer
and keep safe.
Are we assisting criminals?
There has been a steady stream
of letters of concern to the
editor with regard to the planned
Queenstown Around The
In the October 27th edition,
councillor John Douglas
took time and replied to a
few of these concerns. This
is a most admirable and
commendable thing to do.
However, the last sentence has
me a bit worried. He encouraged
a writer to ask future questions by
phone, rather than in the public
My concern may be unfounded
and the impression of wanting to
remove the debate from the public
forum quite unintentional from
his part. But given the possible
impact on the local environment
and the likely cost to Southland
ratepayer's purses, it is very
important that the public stays
informed about this project.
Letters to the Editor are a perfect
tool for a public debate and are
a good sign of democracy. Keep
writing and make your opinions
known everyone, as in the long
run it is better for our community
to have a say and to know what is
on the beat
PO Box 251
Te Anau 9640
Deputy Prime Minister and Clutha-Southland MP Bill
English chats with Te Anau kids (from left) Daisy Kato-
Thomas, Dylan Soper, Lydia Soper, William Soper and
Tom Kato-Thomas at the opening of the Kingston Flyer on
October 29. This photo was sent in by Sandra Soper.
Do you have an opinion to air or a
photo to share?
The Fiordland Advocate welcomes
You may use a nom de plume
providing you supply us with your
name and address (for verification
SEND US YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS
NEW EMPLOYMENT TEST
1 April of this year saw a raft of changes
to the existing employment legislation
come into force. Much of the media focus
in relation to the changes has been the
extension of the 90 day trial period for
new employees to all businesses. The use
of trial periods was previously restricted
to smaller businesses with 19 or fewer
employees. While this change is no doubt
significant, the biggest impact may be
the justification test for an employer's
actions including dismissal. The test
changed as of 1 April to "whether the
employer's actions and how it acted were
what a fair and reasonable employer
could (rather than would) have done in
the circumstances at the time".
The Employment Relations Authority has
considered, for the first time, justification
under this new test in Sigglekow v
Waikato District Health Board.
The Authority found that the dismissal was
unjustified on procedural and substantive
grounds, providing an extensive list of
flaws and deficiencies.
There had been speculation that the new
test would make it easier for an employer
to justify a dismissal as being an option
that a fair and reasonable employer could
have taken in the circumstances.
The decision of the Authority reinforces
that an employer must carry out a full
investigation ensuring that all leads and
enquiry have been exhausted.
An employer should also ensure that an
incident or issue is properly characterised
as misconduct rather than disciplinary
and ensure that no other extenuating
circumstances exist to explain the
employee's conduct including medical
It is important that an employer raises
each and every concer n regarding the
employee's actions and an opportunity be
provided for the employee to respond.
The employer should follow up on an
employee's explanation to ascertain its
validity, rather than discounting it at
An employer needs to ensure that they
comply with organisational standards
set out in all policy and contractual
documentation, in particular performance
management and disciplinary
The first application of the new test
reinforces that an employer needs to
ensure they have carefully considered the
disciplinary process and in most cases, an
employer would be wise to obtain legal
advice before proceeding.
AWS Legal Partner, Damien Pine visits our Te Anau office each Wednesday & Thursday
and other days by appointment. Please remember that this information is designed as a
general guide and should not replace specific legal advice on a particular issue.
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