Legends of the Fall - by Che van Lawrence

Read the 4 May ERA Determination here.

This Autumn has brought us a few rosy delights. While you’re snuggling up with a blankie and hot chocolate, remember that not everyone is as smart as you are and the gods like a good joke just as much as we do.

Like Mr Etchells, sole director of Team One Limited, who didn’t pay his employee. Maybe it was an accident owing to incompetence, maybe he intended to steal his employee’s wages right from the beginning, we’ll never know. What we do know however, is that Mr Etchells didn’t like his employee complaining to WorkSafe, to the extent that he demanded an apology from his employee and continued to withhold wages.

Hold on to your hats Team because Mr Etchells’ comical stupidity gets better and better. When informed of the complaint about him to the ERA, Mr Etchells failed to file a statement in reply and rebuffed invitations to the investigation meeting because he didn’t like the Authority’s salutation, which was given in Te Reo Maori . . .you know, like the rest of us.

It should go without saying that Mr Etchells also ignored a direction from the Authority, to attend a mediation.

This ridiculous, racist cartoon character responded to the Authority’s messages with such regrettable phrases as:

I don’t answer to communications addressed in language other than English

. . .ironically, in response to a communication that opened with “Tēnā koe”. Later, he audaciously demanded of the Authority “Don’t speak to me in Māori” (no doubt pronounced “meowrie”).

Member Larmer, despite Mr Etchells’ persistent hubris and audacity, allowed an extra 10 minutes before the beginning of the investigation meeting, just in case Mr Etchells had someone in his life who loved him enough to help him come to his senses. Alas, instead of being even the tiniest, little bit reasonable, he shirked his duty as a decent member of society and is now stuck with a bill of over $12,000.

Naturally, we expect that he’ll be going ‘round telling his mates he’s not going to “pay a cent” but I think the bailiff will disagree.

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