Friday 20th May is Pink Shirt Day, led by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It aims to reduce bullying in Aotearoa by celebrating diversity and supporting schools, workplaces and communities to be safe. For Allan Halse (pictured), director of CultureSafe NZ, it’s Pink Shirt day every day.
Allan has been a nominee for the New Zealander of the year awards in 2019, 2020 and 2022 for his work saving the lives of victims of workplace bullying. He works in excess of 80 hours per week, 52 weeks a year as an anti-bullying crusader for very little monetary reward.
CultureSafe NZ Ltd is New Zealand’s only specialist anti workplace bullying organisation and has supported more than a thousand bullied workers since 2014. Surveys reveal that 89% of their clients have depression, anxiety or PTSD at the time of engagement.
Ironically, CultureSafe NZ Ltd is at risk of being bullied out of existence on 7 June 2022. Since July 2018, the Rangiura Trust Board are believed to have spent more than $250,000 of tax payer health benefit funds, paying law firm Norris Ward McKinnon in an attempt to liquidate CultureSafe NZ Ltd and bankrupt it’s sole director.
“The alleged debt was established by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) without a legal reason ever being divulged,” says Allan. He claims the litigation to have been politically motivated.
In 2018, The Rangiura Rest Home in Putaruru had 13 employees who were clients of CultureSafe NZ Ltd. Four of the employees were suicidal due to workplace bullying. Allan used his right to free speech and went public when the Rangiura Trust Board hadn’t addressed the bullying.
As a consequence, the two bullies resigned, and all 13 clients returned to a safe work environment.The chairman of the Rangiura Trust Board and two lawyers at Hamilton law firm Norris Ward McKinnon, whose egos had been dented, started a personal vendetta against CultureSafe NZ Ltd and Allan.
An ERA member issued a non-publication order when they had no jurisdiction to do so. The member levied fines, penalties and costs of $67,000 without any legal merit. There are legal challenges to the ERA Determinations being heard by the Employment Court starting 23 May 2022.
CultureSafe NZ Ltd and Allan Halse are the only Employment Relations Authority (ERA) advocate to have had fines, penalties and costs levied against them in this manner in the 22 years since the ERA was established in 2000.
CultureSafe NZ Ltd
Phone: 021 900 508
Phone: 0274 587 724