Home' Greymouth Star : April 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 5
A cleaning supervisor at an Auckland
hospital was sacked for failing to ensure
critical areas, including operating theatres,
were properly cleaned.
Pooja Patel had been employed by OCS
Ltd to ensure the company's cleaners
were meeting the standards required by its
contract with the Auckland District Health
But she was dismissed for serious
misconduct in March last year due to
concerns critical areas at a hospital were not
being cleaned properly.
Ms Patel raised a personal grievance before
the Employment Relations Authority, which
dismissed the case. She then appealed to
the Employment Court, which has also
dismissed the case.
e court was told OCS Ltd's concerns
about the standard of cleaning during Ms
Patel's supervising shifts were sparked by
quality assessment audits carried out by
Among the concerns was that Ms Patel was
failing to adequately prioritise sta to clean
critical areas, such as operating theatres, over
non-critical areas, such as lifts and stairwells.
Ms Patel worked the night shift, between
3.30pm and midnight, six days a week.
During that time, one cleaner was meant to
be assigned to an operating theatre for the
entirety of the shift.
However, the court was told that in January
last year, she assigned one cleaner to an
operating theatre, as well as radiology.
e operating theatre failed a quality
assessment audit the following day.
At a disciplinary meeting, Ms Patel claimed
she was stretched in terms of sta resources,
and had to carry out cleaning duties herself
However, the company had previously
made it clear that critical areas were to be
prioritised over non-critical areas, and that
one sta member was needed to clean a
e court also heard Ms Patel had
pressured another member of sta to lie to
management about how she had handled a
Ms Patel was dismissed after leaving part-
way through a disciplinary meeting in March
In her decision, Judge Christina Inglis
said Ms Patel had been reluctant to accept
there had been issues that were the subject of
ongoing discussions with company.
"She tended to minimise the nature and
seriousness of the discussions. I was not
drawn to her evidence, which was less than
straightforward and was often contradictory
and inconsistent with the documentation."
Judge Inglis found the company's
disciplinary process had been fair and
reasonable, and Ms Patel had been given a
reasonable opportunity to respond.
She dismissed the appeal. Costs were
In a statement, Auckland DHB said it had
taken control of cleaning.
"To ensure high standards are met and
maintained, as of last week our cleaning
sta transferred to direct employment with
the DHB. is allows us to have more direct
control over our cleaning services. We are
con dent this arrangement will ensure our
facilities meet the public's expectations," the
DHB said. --- APNZ
A ship in Tauranga harbour is getting a
makeover for a chance at a second life as a
mobile medical clinic.
e 55m ship is being renovated to house
a full medical clinic, lounge, reception area,
kitchen, and sleeping accommodation for 40
e MV Paci c Hope was bought by
Marine Reach, a Tauranga-based not-for-
pro t organisation.
Once the t out is complete, the ship
would travel to the Paci c, where volunteer
specialists would provide free dentistry, eye
surgery and basic medical services.
Medical specialists from New Zealand,
Australia and around the world would
volunteer to spend up to six months on the
specially tted out vessel.
More than 70 ANZ sta members were
spending three days painting the exterior of
the boat, getting it ready for its rst sailing
to Vanuatu later this year. ANZ regional
manager Rob Yeoman said Marine Reach
was a remarkable organisation.
"Despite the Paci c being full of tropical
islands, there's still a lot of poverty, and these
guys are really making a di erence to the
lives of our South Paci c neighbours.
"We're thrilled to be able to help them out
by throwing a bit of manpower their way."
Marine Reach captain Jesse Misa said
painting such a huge ship would normally
take 10 weeks.
"We're very grateful to the ANZ team for
--- Bay of Plenty Times-APNZ
Old ship given new purpose
After two days of searching no further
Queensland fruit ies have been found in
None of the fruit collected by the Ministry
of Primary Industries has shown evidence of
Queensland fruit y.
Finding a second Queensland fruit
y in Whangarei in three months has
brought biosecurity fears sharply into
focus, threatening the incomes of 1200
Northlanders who work in the region's
$66 million a year horticulture industry.
e Queensland fruit y is regarded as the
"foot and mouth disease" of the horticulture
industry. An infestation could devastate the
sector, which had a total value of $5.6 billion
nationally last year.
It cost $1.6m for the biosecurity alert
which followed the discovery of a fruit
y at Whangarei in January and the cost
is expected to be similar to deal with the
second fruit y trapped last Tuesday close
to where the rst had been found, as long as
this is a lone invader and no more are found.
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive
Peter Silcock said it was unbelievable the
country faced another Queensland fruit y
detection so soon after the last one. MPI,
which is running the biosecurity operation,
does not believe the two ies were linked.
"We have to urgently look at how we are
managing the biosecurity risk so we don't
keep nding this pest in our traps,"
Mr Silcock said.
Labour's primary industries spokesman
Damien O'Connor said that at a cost to
the taxpayer of more than $1m a y in
Whangarei, it would be better for the
Government to invest more in front-line
Maungakaramea orchardist Zelka
Grammer-Vallings agreed. She recalled 60
front-line border biosecurity jobs being cut
and said the latest fruit y discovery raised
questions about the Government focus
on responding to rather than preventing
Meanwhile, a 1.5km circular area around
the place where the fruit y was found
this week --- taking in parts of Parihaka,
Riverside and central Whangarei --- has
been declared a controlled area inside which
the movement of fresh fruit and vegetables
Special bins are being provided there for
the disposal of fruit and vegetable waste.
MPI investigators in the a ected area will
be laying traps and checking fruit trees,
vegetable gardens and rubbish bins for any
signs of fruit ies.
If more ies are found, the MPI says
aerial spraying of insecticides will not be
considered as there are other more e ective
treatment methods available.
Asked how MPI could be sure the
discoveries of the two fruit ies in January
and this week were unrelated, a ministry
spokesman said all the science-based
information indicated a link was unlikely.
Biosecurity checks for ships and yachts
coming to Whangarei from overseas are
carried out at Marsden Pt and Marsden
Cove. Vessels with biosecurity risk goods are
not permitted to enter the upper Whangarei
Small craft such as yachts are met on
arrival and inspected at Marsden Cove. Any
prohibited risk goods are seized under the
Biosecurity Act 1993 and destroyed.
MPI does not check yachts before they
land, as this would be impractical, the
Asked how female fruit ies were detected,
he said male lures were more e ective in
trapping ies and if evidence of other life
stages was obtained by examining fruit from
the controlled area traps could be deployed
using a protein liquid lure attractive to
Asked how Whangarei residents would
know if they had fruit ies in their gardens,
the MPI spokesman said female ies pushed
eggs through the skin of fruit leaving a small
scar or "sting" on the fruit surface.
"Residents are more likely to see the
maggot in fruit once it is cut open. e
lar vae are creamy white, have no legs and are
up to 6mm long," he said. --- APNZ
Quennsland fruit y
Sacked for unclean
fruit flies found
e New Zealand Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD) Squadron was called out
to a property in the Hakataramea Valley
yesterday, to dispose of eight sticks of
Constable Craig Bennett, of Kurow police
said the explosives were discovered by an
owner of the property who was cleaning out
a loft area, preparing for renovations.
EOD experts removed the explosives,
isolated them in a paddock with a 200m
clearance zone, before detonating them.
''It made quite a bang,'' Mr Bennett said.
e explosives had deterior› ated and
were leaking when discovered in the loft, he
''She was moving a box, it fell out and she
caught it. If it had hit the ground, there was
the poten› tial of (it) exploding,'' he said.
Yesterday's call-out served as a timely
reminder for farmers to check sheds and
monitor any explosives, making sure they are
dry and safe with no signs of deterioration,
Mr Bennett said.
Anyone nding explosives which had
deteriorated, should immediately contact
police, who would work under the
direction of explosives experts, he said.
--- Otago Daily Times
Explosives found in loft
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