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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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CYF's Time Line

This is a timeline of events from point of application for first position with CYF to now.

First interview 1 July 2006 in Greymouth. Present:
Christine McKenna: Site Manager (Chair)
Brent Schmidt: Supervisor
Val Henry: Iwi representative

CYF told about the about mainstream program. I write Christine McKenna a letter asking if I had the position and if not, could she provide some feedback. After getting no reponse and hearing rumours I wrote to the ECO Peter Hughes.

I got a response the 1 September 2006.
I received a letter from Christine Stevenson Acting Chief Executive which stated:

I am sorry that your application was not handled as well as it could have been and regret the lack of communication around this .

Feedback finally provided by Christine McKenna on 13 September 2006.
I was unhappy as no allowance were made for my disability and the interview panel themselves were unaware and unprepared. I quested why and after not getting any reasonable answers threaten to go public, that got things moving.

Meeting in Greymouth October 12, 11.00 am
at the West cast Unemployed and Workers Rights Centre.

Paula Attrill: Regional Director Southern.
Shona Hickey: Human Resources

An agreement and transcript was to be sent within the week and singed off before next scheduled interview.

My support personal pulled out as they said going with me to the interview in light of the ongoing problems with CYF would be like going to a hanging.

Knowing this, CYF did nothing and still wanted the interview to go ahead and made no offer of a compromise.

The 31 October contacted Paula Attril to find id she was happy with changes to transcript to get it signed off. Got a reply Kerry Collins saying Paula was unavailable? I asked why transcript was not passed into Shona Hickey to finish as she was at the meeting in Greymouth. That never happened.

As the transcript was not going to be signed of on time as we agreed I threaded not to go to the interview as I felt this was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the second interview. This resulted in a discussion with Judith Larking Acting Regional Director.

Between the 3rd-5th November Chris Pickering rang a few times and eventually got a hold of me to confirm I would be attending the second interview.

Second interview 6 November 2006 in Greymouth.
Chris Pickering: (Panel Chair) Team Leader Professional Services
Christine McKenna: (Greymouth site manager)
Valerie Henry: (Iwi Representative)
Feedback received Tuesday 28/11/2006 4:33 p.m. via email.

Meeting on 11 December Child Youth and Family Greymouth office.
Pam Walkinshaw, Acting Operations Manager Upper South Island
Chris Pickering Team Leader Professional Services

Basically told CYF would never be the place for me even under mainstream.
Nearly 6 moths later some notes about the first interview turned up dated 21 July 2006 with the heading CYF670 Social Worker, Greymouth Vacancy Schedule.

These notes were kept concealed from me until received on email by Wednesday 20/12/2006 10:47 a.m.

Considering all the previous emails and meetings CYF did not raise the existence of this document. I have a saying people who have nothing to hide do not hesitate to come forward with all the information possible.

December 2006 asked questions about Iwi representative on interview panel. Got a reply from Pamela Walkinshaw but she did not actually answer my question. Wrote to CEO and Pam pointing that out. Asked questions again got reply on Tuesday 6 Waitangi Day. Conclusion, iwi representative chosen by CYF without consulting local iwi.

January 6 2007 sent an email to about them breaching the State Service Commissions Code of Conduct.
5 February 2007 reply from Christine Stevenson (Deputy Chief Executive) rebutting my claims by simply saying she felt I had been treated fairly.

February 2006 going to Ombudsmen's office asking him to investigate if I have been treated fairly and the State services Commission to find out if they agree CYF breached their code of conduct. Nothing else we can do but wait …

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