Snowdon's RNZ case coming to close

Last updated 16:25 21/02/2014
Lynne Snowdon
LYNNE SNOWDON: Fighting her former employer Radio New Zealand in court.

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Radio NZ says that thirteen of the 15 grounds for its former managing editor to claim an employment disadvantage were filed too late to be considered.

In the Employment Court at Wellington today lawyer Michael Qugg was making his submissions on what is expected to be the final day of hearing in the marathon dispute between Lynne Snowdon and Radio NZ.

Snowdon was on leave with pay for more than two years before she was dismissed in April 2005.

She is claiming a disadvantage grievance, unjustified dismissal and fraud by Radio NZ in the long court proceedings in which it is claimed the state broadcaster had not disclosed the material it was obliged to under the court's rules.

Quigg asked Judge Tony Ford to rule that the fraud allegations were without any basis.

There was no evidence of fraud, no specific example given of it, when it occurred, by whom or the method used. The allegations were totally unacceptable. Police and the Serious Fraud Office had each dismissed the allegations twice and the auditor-general had also dismissed a fraud complaint.

If fraud was proved it would be relevant to what could be a multi-million dollar costs claim Snowdon is expected to make if she wins her case. A large part of the costs were incurred in gathering accounting evidence about what was alleged to have been an underfunding of the news division at Radio NZ and a diversion of funds for other purposes.

Quigg said many of Snowdon's alleged disadvantage grievances were raised too late to be considered.

The two disadvantage claims that were raised in time - about reducing her delegation to deal with financial matters and a grievance about the way the suggestion emerged that the employment relationship had irretrievably broken down - could not succeed, Quigg said.

Snowdown had gone on stress leave in January 2003 amid claims of financial mismanagement of the news budget. Radio NZ denies her claims that the news division was underfunded.

The ultimate Employment Court hearing began last October. 

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- Fairfax Media

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