Home' Greymouth Star : October 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 5
Unions join pay
Unions have agreed to put
off legal action over pay equity
after joining a group set-up by
the Government to try to make
headway on the issue.
Legal action will be put on hold
until March next year.
Union representatives will be
led by Council of Trade Unions
representative Helen Kelly, who
stepped down from the CTU
presidency this month following
a February diagnosis of terminal
The establishment of the joint
working group comes after a recent Court of
Appeal ruling that to establish equal pay for
workers in the female-dominated aged care
industry, their pay must be equal to workers in a
similar male-dominated industry.
Lower Hutt rest home worker Kristine
Bartlett initiated the historic case when
she lodged a claim for equal pay from her
employer Terranova Homes and Care with the
Employment Court in May 2013.
She argued that her employer Terranova was
breaching the Equal Pay Act by fixing caregiver
wages at a low rate because 92% of the country’s
20,000 rest home caregivers were women.
In her last major speech as president to the
CTU conference in Wellington this month, Ms
Kelly nominated the Bartlett case as one of the
biggest wins for the union movement in recent
The ruling meant the Employment Court
would have developed a set of principles to be
obser ved in implementing pay equity in the
aged care sector.
Workers in other industries would also look at
legal action to ask the courts to establish such a
set of principles for their industry.
Now, the Joint Working Group will develop
principles for dealing with claims of pay equity,
that could be applied across the entire economy.
“I am very pleased unions and employers’
groups have been so willing to take part in this
process and work together with
Government officials to come up
with practical solutions,” Minister
of State Ser vices Paula Bennett
The group is expected to
meet later this month with
recommendations to Ministers
by the end of March next year. If
accepted, some will likely require
a law change.
has been hailed as a “ big step in
the right direction” by the Pay
Equity Coalition. Spokeswoman
Angela McLeod said hundreds of
thousands of women were not receiving equal
pay for work of equal value.
“It has taken brave working women over
40 years to get to this point. We’re pleased
the Government has finally seen the sense in
Green Party women’s spokeswoman Jan
Logie welcomed the group’s establishment,
and said the Bartlett case had forced National’s
“The National Government should be
congratulated for seeing the writing on the wall
and deciding that it ’s better to be on the right
side of history. It ’s well overdue.”
Business New Zealand chief executive Phil
O’Reilly said it was important that any principles
agreed upon by the working group reflected
economic reality “rather than a bureaucratic
or token approach to women’s employment,
while supporting equitable pay rates in women-
Meanwhile, Health Minister Jonathan
Coleman has confirmed the Government will
enter negotiations over pay rates for about
50,000 care and support workers.
“ We are confident that the responsible
approach taken by the unions, employers
and funders to resolve the long standing in-
between travel issue can be replicated in these
discussions,” Dr Coleman said.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
A prisoner transferring from Rimutaka Prison
in preparation for his parole release has been
given more jail for assaulting an officer at Otago
Appearing in the D unedin District Court
yesterday by audio visual link from the facility,
Wiremu Tamahana Allen, 33, accepted a
sentencing indication and pleaded guilty to a
Crimes Act assault charge.
He was convicted and sentenced to three
months’ jail, cumulative on the term he is ser ving.
Judge John Macdonald took into account there
had already been significant consequences for
Allen, one being revocation of his parole release
date. — Otago Daily Times
A Dunedin man who stole almost
$100,000 from his employer to fund a
gambling problem has been sentenced to
eight months’ home detention and 250
hours’ community work.
Daryl Owen Fraser, 63, was also to pay
$30,000 reparation — an initial sum
of $15,000 and the balance at $50 a
week, Judge John Macdonald said in the
Dunedin District Court yesterday.
Fraser had been convicted theft by a
person in a special relationship.
The police summary said Fraser made
more than 200 unauthorised payments
from his employer’s bank account into
his Westpac account while working as
an office administrator for Weathertight
Windows and Doors Ltd between
February 28, 2013, and June 26 this year.
He transferred a total of $99,054 over
219 separate transactions.
Fraser paid wages and debtors as part of
his role and had access to the company’s
Public defender Andrew More said
Fraser had not been near a poker machine
since being charged. He had also referred
himself for gambling counselling.
Restorative justice could not go ahead.
But Fraser had wanted to attend.
Fraser expected to be able to put
Kiwisaver funds of $15,000 towards
He had no previous convictions, Mr
Judge Macdonald said the offending
was serious “for obvious reasons”. It was
premeditated over a lengthy period and
the impact on the company ’s directors
“ You blame your gambling addiction.
But that is no excuse and no comfort to
the directors of the company,” he told
From a starting point of two and a half
years’ jail, the judge allowed credit for
Fraser’s past good character and remorse,
his willingness to pay reparation, the
steps he was taking to deal with his
gambling addiction and his guilty plea.
In place of what would other wise have
been 18 months’ jail, the judge sentenced
Fraser to home detention and community
work. It was expected the $15,000 would
be more or less immediately available
and the remaining reparation paid at $50
a week, he noted. — Otago Daily Times
Judge bars claim for $30m fee
About $28 million in late
payment fees charged on a
$A37 million loan to George
Kerr’s Torchlight Fund are a
penalty and cannot be enforced,
a High Court judge has ruled.
Mr Kerr, the managing director
of Pyne Gould Corporation, is an
investor in a now-inactive private
equity fund called Torchlight
that was put into receivership
last year by Wilaci, a company
associated with John Grill.
Mr Grill was one of Australia’s
top 50 richest people in 2013.
In August 2012, Wilaci
made a $A37m 60-day loan to
Torchlight, which came with a
$A500,000 per week fee if it was
paid back late.
Torchlight was in a “very tight
liquidity situation” at the time
after it purchased debt owed
by an Australian real estate
company to Bank of Scotland
Torchlight took 19 months to
fully repay the advance and in
May last year, Wilaci issued a
$A33.62m demand to the fund,
about $A28m ($30m) of which
was accrued late payment fees.
Wilaci appointed receivers the
following month, in June last
declaration in the High Court
at Auckland that the demand
was unenforceable while Wilaci
wanted judgment for the sum
In a decision released on
Monday, Justice Matthew Muir
said he considered the late
payment fee so exceeded the
loss likely to be caused that it
“qualifies as extravagant ” and was
an unenforceable penalty.
The judge said where the sum
sought to be recovered was many
multiples of what he considered
to be recoverable damages, a
finding of extravagance was
Justice Muir, however, said
Torchlight and its general
partner were to pay a loan fee of
$A5m, interest on outstanding
sums, and receivers costs of
$1.8m. The interest involved is
about $2.8, according to a lawyer
involved in the case.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
A furry Whangarei family who were
separated during a 24-hour ordeal have
been reunited — at the start of the influx of
abandoned pets over spring and summer.
An unusually strong maternal drive saw a
tabby cat track its kittens to the Mill Road
veterinary clinic, after they were dumped
there last week.
Vet Julie Wills said her team arrived at work
on Wednesday to find a cardboard box on the
doorstep containing four kittens, estimated to
be three to four weeks old.
“We tookthemin andgot them all set upin
the incubator. We all fell in love with them.
We did have the option of taking them to
the SPCA but decided because they were so
adorable we were happy to look after them,”
Ms Wills said.
The kittens went home with one of the vet
nurses overnight and were brought back to
the clinic the next morning. It was then staff
noticed a small tabby cat desperately trying to
get through the front door.
“ Even when dogs came through the door
this cat was trying to muscle its way through,”
Ms Wills said.
As soon as they picked up the cat, they
realised it was a nursing mother and took it to
“She dived in there and was licking them
and really excited to see them. Within
minutes all the staff had abandoned their
work and were watching.”
Ms Wills said presumably, the cat was
dumped along with the kittens but was able
to escape from the box.
“S he would have been hanging around the
clinic working out how to get in for 24 hours.”
A family member of one of the vets was now
fostering the kittens, which would be ready to
go to new homes in about four weeks.
It was relatively rare for people to dump pets
at the clinic without speaking to staff, with
the SPCA bearing the brunt of abandonment,
Ms Wills said.
Whangarei SPCA manager Francine
Shields said this year, the shelter “really hadn’t
stopped having kittens”.
The cattery was sure to be at capacity over
summer, she said, although warm weather
brought a variety of other challenges for
inspectors including animals without water or
shade, dogs locked in hot cars and a surge in
stock calls because of drought.
— NZ ME -Northern Advocate
Mother cat reunited with litter
An unusually maternal tabby tracked its lost kittens to the Mill Road Vet Clinic.
The three fishermen missing after their
trawler sank off the Canterbury coast at
the weekend have been officially named
Jared Reese Husband, 47, of Timaru,
Paul Russell Bennett, 35, of Motueka,
and 55-year-old Terry Donald Booth,
from the Nelson region, are feared dead
after their Ocean Fisheries fishing vessel
FV Jubilee was caught up in a “ brutal”
storm in the early hours of Sunday.
The Royal New Zealand Navy will join
the recovery operation, police confirmed
Navy diving support vessel HMNZS
Manawanui will depart Devonport
Naval Base today and make its way south
It will then be met by members of
their operational dive team and the
Wellington-based police dive squad
when she arrives at the end of the week.
Inspector Craig McKay said that, at
this stage, the intention is to deploy
the navy ’s remote operated vehicle to
confirm the identity and orientation of
what police say is an “item of interest ”
located in 40m of water near to the last
known position of the FV Jubilee.
A massive search has been under way
since it went down.
On Sunday, searchers found a liferaft,
but no sign of the fishermen.
The families of the missing crew
are being supported by police, Victim
Support, the crew ’s Lyttelton-based
employer and their respective friends and
family, Mr McKay said.
“ It ’s a difficult time for both the
company, and obviously, more so for
the families,” said Andrew Stark, chief
executive of Ocean Fisheries and Stark
Bros said on Sunday.
The three men on board were familiar
with the Jubilee, Mr Stark said.
Extra jail for assault on prison officer
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