Claims MSD boss in incident
BREAKING NEWS REPORTER
A Social Development Ministry (MSD) manager is believed to have been stood down amid an internal investigation into an alleged altercation with a staffer.
The ministry yesterday confirmed that it had launched an internal investigation into an incident between two staff members at its Bowen St headquarters late last week.
Social Development Ministry deputy chief executive of policy Sue Mackwell confirmed an employment investigation was under way.
She also confirmed a staff member, whom the ministry refused to identify, had been stood down.
When contacted at home by The Dominion Post yesterday afternoon, the manager refused to comment.
The ministry claims there is no public interest in her identity – and she deserves privacy because "she is not a chief executive or a high-profile staff member".
Ms Mackwell said the matter was being taken seriously. All circumstances around the incident would be looked at before a course of action was decided on.
"In the interests of natural justice, I'm limited in what I can say at this stage, other than to confirm that I will get to the bottom of the matter and take whatever action is appropriate."
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said all staffing matters were operational, and referred questions to the ministry.
The Public Service Association said it was aware an internal investigation was under way but the union did not want to comment while that was ongoing.
A State Services Commission spokeswoman said the commission would provide advice if required.
"We understand that MSD moved swiftly once the allegation against a staff member was made and we look forward to being briefed on the outcome of the investigation as soon as they are able."
Earlier this year, the State Services Commission issued its findings into an altercation between Building and Housing Department chief executive Katrina Bach and a junior staff member.
Junior staffer Jaime Rawlings raised a personal grievance about the chief executive's treatment of her and complained of two specific incidents as well as a third general allegation of negative language toward her.
The commission found that Ms Bach's actions had breached the department's code of conduct, for which she was given a warning and a financial penalty.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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