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A nursing director who wrote
“capability to get alongside idiots” in a job
description to her boss has been awarded
$15,000 after a review disadvantaged her
Robyn Henderson was a senior
manager at the Nelson Marlborough
District Health Board between February
2010 and October 2014 and took a
claim of unjustified disadvantage and
unjustified constructive dismissal to the
Employment Relations Authority.
Ms Henderson was required to
participate in a performance review with
DHB chief executive Chris Fleming in
Under the field ‘what do you consider are
the key skills required for your position?’
Ms Henderson wrote ‘tolerance, vision, a
strong nursing identity, capability to get
Mr Fleming raised concerns about
Ms Henderson’s relationship with her
co-workers and said a former staffer
had made negative comments about her
in an exit interview. He also raised the
comment about “idiots” in her response
to the key skills questions.
Ms Henderson said she filled in the
form late at night and did not intend on
that line being included in the final copy.
The performance appraisal resulted in
Ms Henderson being subject to a review,
known as a 360 degree feedback review.
Ms Henderson said Mr Fleming told
her the review would be when “all the
demons came out ”. Mr Fleming told
the ERA that he only referred to the
“possibility of demons coming out ”.
A coach was brought in to train Ms
Henderson to change her interpersonal
Ms Henderson took time off work
and her GP deemed her unfit to return
to work because of workplace stress. She
then sent a letter to Mr Fleming claiming
Member of the authority David
Appleton said Ms Henderson had been
unfairly disadvantaged by the 360 degree
“Ms Henderson was faced with the
prospect of up to 80 people giving
anonymous feedback about her, knowing
that Mr Fleming believed that she
was a poor performer in respect of
her interpersonal relationships. No
fair and reasonable employer could
have gone down such a route in all the
circumstances,” he said in his decision.
Mr Fleming had confused elements of
a performance appraisal with elements of
a disciplinary process in his dealings with
Ms Henderson, Mr Appleton said.
A constructive dismissal had not taken
place, Mr Appleton said.
Ms Henderson had suffered a “palpable
sense of humiliation” and loss of dignity,
Mr Appleton said, and ordered the DHB
to pay her $15,000 as reparation.
A musician who assaulted his
ex-girlfriend has avoided a conviction so
he can pursue a European record deal.
The man was also given permanent
name suppression at the Auckland
District Court yesterday — so the sum
total of his punishment was a $130 court-
The name of his band and his ex-partner
were also suppressed.
The defendant previously told the court
his band had recently got their big break
with a European label agreeing to release
“ To get an opportunity like this outside
New Zealand is a pretty big deal,” he said.
“It’s what I’ve been working for my
whole life.” After extensive enquiries by
the judge, the man described the band’s
sound as “very bluesy, early 70’s inspired,
An affidavit before the court laid out the
man’s 20-year career in music, including
the last three years as the “driving force”
behind the band.
The defendant told the court that
before sentencing today he had spent the
day recording the group’s latest album in
preparation for the overseas trip.
Judge Grant Fraser accepted a conviction
or any negative publicity might jeopardise
the record deal and accordingly granted
“It would appear ... that the band and
(the defendant) are about to potentially
break through into the international
market,” he said.
“I’m of the view that to see that fall
apart as a result of this offending — at
the low to moderate end of the spectrum
would be out of all proportion to the
gravity of the offending.” The incident
happened at a work Christmas party
when the man’s then partner began
arguing with a third party.
“ We had both been drinking and I
reacted badly and handled her the wrong
way which caused her to fall and hit her
head on the gate,” he said.
Though there were some denials about
kicking the woman in the side as she lay
on the ground, Judge Fraser stressed he
had accepted the summary of facts in its
entirety with his guilty plea.
On granting the discharge without
conviction, the judge also took into
account the restrictions the black mark
would place on travel around Europe and
the United States.
The victim provided a statement to
the court in support of her ex, and said
she was concerned if he did not get
suppression she too would be identified.
Judge Fraser accepted the defendant
was “deeply remorseful” and said he
had completed courses to address his
“I hope the work you’ve done means we
never see you again on a future occasion,”
he said. — NZME
A man who tried to blackmail a
14-year-old girl into sending him naked
photos has been jailed for six years, with
a minimum non-parole period of 30
Karl Sheridan Salmon of North
Canterbury previously admitted having
sex with the underage girl and trying to
use a video of the encounter to get her to
send him naked photos, among charges
including unlawful sexual connection,
blackmail and threatening to kill.
At his sentencing in the High Court
at Christchurch this morning, Justice
Cameron Mander told the 21-year-old
his actions were predatory.
He said Salmon felt more powerful on
social media than in real life, and could
say things through texts and Facebook
that he could not in person.
“The use of blackmail, and the
manipulation of your victims by having
them fear you, is conduct that is neither
spontaneous nor entered into without
Two of Salmon’s victims were in the
public gallery and cried as the summary
of facts was read.
Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said
they would suffer lasting trauma.
“There were serious effects, with some
victims considering suicide and self-
harm, and others will continue to be
affected by this for quite some time.”
A psychiatric report found there was a
high risk of Salmon carrying out further
Ms Boshier told the court Salmon had
shown next to no remorse. “His insight
into the impact of his offending on his
victims appeared to be lacking, and he
appeared to minimise this.”
Salmon said he would have never
followed through with his threats.
— New Zealand Herald
DHB ordered to
pay worker $15,000
Musician avoids assault conviction
Blackmail leads to jail
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