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Graemea & CYF New Zealand

Graeme Axford documents his Employment dispute with Child Youth & Family, (CYF) New Zealand

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Table of Content  Page 16 of 28

Iwi Representation

From: Graeme Axford
Sent: Tuesday, 30 January 2007 11:42 a.m.
To: Pamela Walkinshaw
Subject: RE: iwi representative

HI Pam,

Thank you for taking the time to reply, not that it really actually answered my question.
This is what I would like to know.

Did CYF ask the local iwi for nominations of candidates to put forward?
Was the iwi representative selected by consultation then elected onto the panel.
Who made the final decisions about iwi representation based on what criteria?
Who from the local iwi did CYF consult with?
Did local iwi have any say or were they just advised whom CYF chosen as the iwi representative if they were told at all.

I have spoken with some from the local iwi and they can not recall being involved with the process of selecting the iwi representative.

I would rather have not got all official so you can either answer me now or take this as an Official Information Act question. If I don't get a clear answer I will go to the ombudsmen's office. Withholding this information will only delay the Inevitable.

I fail to see how asking questions in my previous email below invoked the response you gave as I clearly did not make reference to any interviews. My questions were independent from any other ongoing issue we have therefore required an answer on its own merits putting aside the interview issues as not relevant to the questions asked.

Your response:

Val Henry is a current member of the Care and Protection Resource Panel who has local knowledge of working with Maori in the community.

In no way answer the question as I can not recall questioning Val's abilities or experience as I feel that would be uncalled for nor do I consider myself to be in any position to comment on such matters.

I did want to know the process Val went through to get on the panel as some of the local iwi I spoke to can not recall being asked or consulted, or having any say in the process they are aware off. Can you not see the difference or what I am getting at now? To put it more simply is Val a local iwi representative or a generic representative of iwi.

As you raised the issue of the second interview there is an obvious problem to all who had read the file containing the relevant emails, letters, transcripts and interview results? The second interview results are invalid because I attended under duress.

As CYF made the opportunity to attend a second interview had I failed to show up for any reason CYF would have said they gave me another chance and I turned it down. CYF could have said that by offering the second interview it was a chance to resolve and address the issues raised from the first interview and I turned it down so they could do no more then that.

By arranging the second interview CYF could have rightfully said that tried to meet their legal obligations by having the second interview and through that process address the issues therefore CYF have nothing else to answer to as I failed to show.

It would have also meant I would have no redress given I turned the chance down which I am legally required to give to CYF before proceeding to any other complaints organizations. Once CYF fail to resolve my issues only then can I take the issues outside the CYF, MSD organizations which I will do soon.

When my support person pulled out and it was clear I had some unresolved issues like the written agreement and other things not being resolved before the next schedule interview as we agreed this unnerved me creating mistrust among other things. That is hardly a good platform for a great interview result.

CYF knowing this in advanced should have either sought to resolve the outstanding issues or postponed the interview while things were being sorted.

CYF being aware there were problems and taking advantage of this by insisting the interview still went ahead seems unfair and unjust. Not taking these matters into consideration and how this affected my performance at the second interview illustrates the planned underlying intent of dishonesty and dirty tactics involved too justify and maintain your stance of not employing me under mainstream it would seem.

Remember the email sent: Tuesday, 31 October 2006 5:55 p.m from Judy larking (Acting Regional Director)

Subject: Mr Axford's concerns regarding West Coast Interview

..Paula had completed the tasks.

This is an example of, that CYF has a habit of doing and hearing what suits them to spite the truth as far as I am concerned. CYF don't listen and twist things for their own agenda.

From: Paula Attrill
To: Graeme Axford
Sent: Thursday 16/11/2006 8:40 p.m.
Subject: RE: clearer3

...I accept your expectation was that the meeting write up would be agreed before your interview...

Remember Paula made these comment after the second interview had taken place. So if I and Paula agree on this point it seems ad odds with what Judy claimed but does highlight why I was concerned going into the second interview.

Again from Judys email.. That the issues he wished to clarify with Paula did not impact directly on the interview on Monday and that the interview on Monday (if he decided to proceed with the interview) would need to be judged on its own merits. Yea right would not impact on my performance get real?

This is what Judy wanted to hear and not what I agreed to as my response to her showed.
The fact I was so apprehensive and seemed unwilling to attend hardly puts CYF in a good light when the still wanted to proceed.

The fact is the first interview panel feedback is quite good which is why I believe you needed the second interview to go ahead so you could justify and maintain your stance of not wanting to employ me under mainstream.

Need I remind you about the first interview that took place on Saturday 1 July 2006 at Child Youth & Family, West Coast office (CYF670) Panel comments as follows.

Graeme Axford was well prepared for the interview and presented in an enthusiastic manner.

Cant say that about second interview.

Graeme presented in an open and honest manner..
Graeme was familiar with the job description and had undertaken some research about Child, Youth and Family on the website. He was the only candidate who did this. Graeme demonstrated a methodical approach to the competency-based question. Same scenarios used in second interview

Graeme demonstrated a systematic approach and clarity of thought and was able to seek information from a variety of sources to assist his clients. He demonstrates confidence in his own judgement and a willingness to put forward his own viewpoint. This was very much based on his role as an advocate.

The Panel has considered Graeme's application and whilst he has social work qualities and attributes...

That's at odds with what Pam and Chris thing now

The Panel agreed that while Graeme is qualified and presented with social work qualities and attributes he has not scored high enough to be considered for a position

Well Hello, the panel was not aware or prepared for my disability.

Had I scored higher in the work sample/scenario and made up the two points I would have been 1st equalizes at 44 instead of 42.

It was impossible for me to do at that time given the interview panel was unprepared and unaware of my disability therefore I was disadvantaged over other interviewees. That did impact on the final two point difference results.

The fact is Pam you are hiding behind the second interview results to disguise what I see as pure discrimination. You needed the second interview to take place knowing I was in the catch 22, dammed if I did, or didn't, turn up as I have already explained.

It worries me Pam that you seem to have no sense of justice, fairness as everyone else's who has heard my story all agree the second interview should not have taken place under the circumstances and the fact you can not concede this is worrying considering your position within CYF. If you treat me like this I have to wonder what you are like with clients using power over them. I don't think your handling of my case is a good endorsement for yourself or CYF.

The Social Workers Code of ethics talks about justice, equality acting fairly, honestly something I have as yet not seen you do based on the handling of my case. You also kept Facts hidden from me about what the interview panel really considered for about 6 months.

That does not look good and you have avoided answering many of my questions in the 5page letter to the first interview panel. Then the 11page letter to the second interview panel as well as many in-between I am sure this letter will be no different.

I believe my case highlights a lack of integrity in intent and actions which have brought the department of CYF into disrepute among many other things.

CYF actions breached not only the SSC code of conduct of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) but also that of the Social Workers Registration Board Codes Conduct. As you are aware I have to make it clear to you and CYF that I will be raising my concerns with these bodies should you fail to address them.

When you see the second interview results and compare them to the first its clear something was wrong as the results are so inconsistent.

The fact I had 2/3rd of the same panel back to whom I wrote to and that they did not respond does not look good either.
Thinking I was being setup I had to second guess everything I was saying during the second interview and given I was so unnerved the results support my feelings at the time. Very low. The fact is CYF did what they could to set me up to fail by sabotaging things before the second interview to get the bad results they wanted and needed to justify not employing me. That's not fair nor just and honest.

I would like you to show me with all this background and things going on how you could possibly have expected a good result or even a reasonable one to come from the second interview. Interviews are nerve racking enough without all the other stuff going on behind the scenes. Everyone I have spoken to agrees with this statement.

If you don't think all of this background stuff did not impacted on my performance I think you will be dreaming or on another planet. It will also tell me you got the results you wanted and set up (a bad one) to knowingly use it against me as you are doing now. I have pointed this claim out to you before and got no response.

The reason why CYF never puts Mainstream on the agenda or radar as you call it, is simple. You would have to acknowledge my disability and look at ways of helping me to get employment and overcoming the dyslexia issues and make it happen.

That's a path you don't want to consider because you will then find out that all your excuses are wrong and how little of dyslexia you understood and still don't understand.

Remember I worked, studied and meet all the same timeframes and pressures as every other trainee social worker. My track record is proven while your excuses are based on misconceptions.

Given the poor second interview results you could now say I did not get a high enough score to be considered anyway. If you just had the first interview results on their own, given the two point difference you are hard pushed to justify that argument as I got so close.

Prove me wrong, while I am sure you can come up with creative excuses, I have as yet to hear a defense or reasonable explanation or view point on this.

That fact you and CYF had a go and questioned my qualification, providers and skills is unheard off. People reading the dialog say CYF really whent over the top WHY?

Then you suggested I find an NGO as CYF could not identify a course for me to attend given I was qualified but seemed to be lacking the skills required in their view.
Everyone who read these statements all say its over the top behavior.

As you are aware I am putting a webpage about my experience with CYF and copy all the emails, letter, replies, transcripts along with creating a blog and polling people to see who they think is right me or CYF.

We will watch with interest as the trial by media happens as it's the only way to make CYF listen. I will also be heading to the beehive to protest to coincide with the page going up and creating publicity. The page is with the lawyer and should be back this week. I am going to copy everything up to it including this word for word reply.

So you are going to be famous and if you think you have acted properly will not mind defending your position.

You, Val or any of the staff named are more then welcome to respond. I will put up unedited or abridged your response to me for the world to see. Unlike you I believe in giving people a fair go.

Pam this is far from over and if you want to continue to breach codes and act in a way I consider questionable. you might have to face these consequences.

If you had read my personal statement attached with the old CV at the first interview you would have known that I will not give up when being treated in such and appalling manner.

As an advocate, the manner in which I have been treated goes against everything I believe in such as justice, equality and fairness. I know many people who think alike, ready to support me as CYF will soon find out.

Also remember some of the responses from a former tutor addressing the underlying issues of my bad performance at the second interview with regards to my disability comming into play, what you considered a lack of skills and training issue.


---- Original Message ----
From: Pamela Walkinshaw
Sent: Thursday, 25 January 2007 4:08 p.m.
To: Graeme Axford.
Subject: RE: iwi representative

Dear Graeme
All feedback given to you is in direct response to your performance during the interview held 6 November 2006.

The panel felt that during the interview you did not demonstrate in your examples an in depth understanding of cultural awareness. An example of this can be seen during the second example where you did state that you would take your shoes off, the importance of food, and recognition of cultural norms, and you would try to speak Maori.

However you identified yourself that you had deficits in your knowledge base and there would be a need for further learning, cultural supervision and you would need to be assisted during your visit with Maori clients, by a Maori social worker. The answers were general and evidenced a basic level of understanding.

During the second example the Panel was required to prompt you to provide more information in this area. At that point you advised that you would make use of an agency aide to guide questions to determine how you would act respectfully, and you would ask the family to assist with determining which culture was the dominant culture.

Your scoring of 1.5 reflected only a very basic knowledge of cultural awareness as described to the Panel during your interview.

Val Henry is a current member of the Care and Protection Resource Panel who has local knowledge of working with Maori in the community.

Yours faithfully

Pam Walkinhshaw
acting Operations Manager
Upper South Service Centre


From: Graeme Axford
Sent: Friday, 22 December 2006 9:51 a.m.
To: pam.walkinshaw
Cc: Christopher.Pickering
Subject: iwi representative

Hi Pam, Chris

I have questions to put to you given the quote below:

Graeme was also told that Val, an Iwi representative on the Panel had voiced disappointment that Graeme had not been able to evidence his knowledge base and bicultural understanding more, particularly given the Provider he had completed his qualification with?

How does CYF choose their iwi representative? By elections? Call for nominations? I'd like to know. Whatever the process is, I could not find on your webpage …

Could we please have more information on Val such as contact information, Iwi etc...

I believe someone I have been showing the minutes of the meeting to, would like to respond to Val given her comments.

Just to be sure that we are talking about the same thing, what provider had you in mind as I have had three?


Table of Content  Page 16 of 28


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