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Desperate coverups and collateral damage – by Karen Davis


Has anyone been following the Berejiklian (former NSW Premier) pork barrelling shenanigans? This article by Malcolm Knox from Sydney Morning Herald is the best we’ve seen so far.


We understand that when a person in a position or power wants to hide something, people are likely to get hurt. We have no specific knowledge of anyone who was a potential threat to Ms Berejiklian having their careers destroyed – but we do know that Australians would not stand for that.


Back in New Zealand, sadly, Section 149 of the Employment Relations Act 2000 is used to devastating effect to silence whistleblowers and even suspected potential whistleblowers, often destroying their careers in the process.


One such matter came to a head in 2014 when a faked email relationship that desperately needed to be covered up, destroyed the career of an unwitting law academic. A Wellington QC assisted with the coverup and was rewarded with a post as a High Court judge soon after. Other lawyers were brought in to assist with a further coverup, and at least two of them were also rewarded with judicial posts.


Ironically, the initial target of this cabal was uninterested in the sexual proclivities of her colleague, although emails sent from her computer while she was out of her office by someone looking for a major coverup suggested otherwise.


Those who were interested in those proclivities being kept secret took their coverup money and looked after each other. The dodgy lawyers claimed to have established that coverup was the most important part of the legal system.


Reporter Malcolm Knox says, of Ms Berejiklian: “She declared conflicts of interest when her distant family might be impacted by government decisions, but not when they benefited her lover.”

[however,]

The mysteries of the heart are not the ICAC’s or the public’s business”.

Or the New Zealand Employment Court’s or the ERA’s for that matter.


But if serious harm is caused to an innocent person’s career in the course of covering up something dodgy, the employer concerned is probably going to end up with a damaged reputation and a huge legal bill!

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