Saturday, August 29, 2009

NZ mortgagee sales hit record high -

NZ mortgagee sales hit record high - life in "the brave new world" of a John key government...

Terralink International says mortgagee sales in New Zealand have hit an all time high for the month of june, 298 and rising

Mortgagee sales have hit an historic high, with numbers almost tripling since the same time last year.

Terralink International has released figures for registered mortgagee sales in June. It says there were 289 of them - against 98 registered sales in June 2008.

Managing Director Mike Donald says Queenstown, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Taranaki and Northland have been hardest hit. He says it is probably due to the recession starting to bite, with job losses and small businesses not generating enough for the owner to pay their mortgage.

Mike Donald expects mortgagee sales will continue to rise.

© 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Kiwi woman sacked for sending 'confrontational' emails...

Woman sacked for sending 'confrontational' emails - life in the "brave new world" of a John Key government?

Vicki Walker is calling for greater protection for white-collar workers after she was sacked because of 'confrontational' emails she had sent

An Auckland accountant was sacked for sending "confrontational" emails with words in red, in bold and in capital letters.

Vicki Walker, who was a financial controller with ProCare Health, has been awarded $17,000 for unfair dismissal, and plans to lodge an appeal for further compensation.

She is now speaking out, calling for greater protection for white-collar workers from the financial, emotional and mental stresses involved in a dispute with a big corporate employer.

"I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money from my sister to make it through," she said. "They nearly ruined my life."

The Employment Relations Authority ruled that Walker was not fairly terminated from her position after sending the emails to co-workers.

ProCare told the authority Walker - who was fired in December 2007 after two years of employment - had caused disharmony in the workplace by using block capitals, bold typeface and red text in her emails.

She had also acted provocatively in seeking to view complaints laid against her by colleagues.

But Walker said they talked about a number of emails she had sent, yet used only one in evidence. The email, which advises her team how to fill out staff claim forms, specifies a time and date highlighted in bold red, and a sentence written in capitals and highlighted in bold blue. It reads: "To ensure your staff claim is processed and paid, please do follow the below checklist."

As part of her compensation, Walker was awarded nearly $6000 in lost wages for the 13 weeks between leaving ProCare and finding a new job, but she says she didn't find fulltime work until October 2008.

Walker was also awarded $11,500 for any harm caused through her dismissal.

"To say that [email] is confrontational is ridiculous," says Walker. "I have spent thousands defending myself and there are so many issues that are unresolved that I want to take them up on."

Authority member Alastair Dumbleton said Ms Walker received no warnings, and while she had contributed to disharmony in the workplace it was not to the extent that dismissal was fair or reasonable.

She had been a capable and competent employee, he said. ProCare did not have a style or etiquette guide for employees using email, so it was not clear what was regarded as unacceptable communication.

ProCare did not respond to a request for comment on the compensation.

Another example of life in the "brave new world" of a John key government?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Political firestorm - implicating national MP in possible immigration scam...

Political firestorm set to explode;

Labour will today release information from an informant which implicates a National MP in a possible immigration scam

Immigration New Zealand has asked police to look into the activities of an immigration consultant with connections to National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi.

The department says it received information last month concerning Mr Singh Bakshi and interviewed an informant. As a result it decided to refer the case to police.

It is understood the case centres on allegations false job offers have been used to secure visas and permits for immigrants.

Police confirm they are investigating an immigration consultant, but say the man has now left the country. They are not commenting further, nor making any statement about Mr Singh Bakshi's connection.

Mr Singh Bakshi is unavailable for comment, but he has previously denied he has broken any rules in relation to immigration matters. He is currently six weeks into an eight week absence from Parliament, as he recovers from heart bypass surgery.

The Labour Party will be gunning for the National MP in Parliament this afternoon. Labour MP Pete Hodgson says he will go public with a statement from an informant. His comments will be protected by Parliamentary privilege.

Acknowledgements: NZCity, NewsTalkZB

Monday, August 10, 2009

Paula Bennet being investigated by the Privacy Commission

Bennett investigated by Privacy watchdog...

Privacy Commission is investigating the Social Development Ministry and Paula Bennett over release of info about beneficiaries

The Privacy Commissioner has confirmed her office is investigating Paula Bennett and the Social Development Ministry.

Marie Shroff recently received a complaint about both, after the Social Development Minister revealed the welfare payments being received by two solo mothers.

The women had publicly complained about the Government's decision to scrap the Training Incentive Allowance.

Ms Shroff says the Privacy Act requires her office to conduct investigations in a confidential manner.

Acknowledgements: 2009 NZCity, NewsTalkZB