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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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Latest Correspondence With CYF

28 February 2007

Mr Graeme Axford
"Address Withheld" Kaiata

Dear Mr Axford

I wrote to you on 30 January in an effort to try and resolve your complaints against Child Youth and Family. Although I have not yet received a response from you I am aware that you have posted material on the Internet and that you may publicly protest to highlight your grievances. This suggests that you are still unhappy with your dealings with Child, Youth and Family and matters remain unresolved.

Clearly you are dissatisfied and frustrated and I am anxious that we not do anything to exacerbate this situation. I do still think it worthwhile looking at a different course to see if we can't bring this to a conclusion that would be satisfactory to you. Notwithstanding your perceptions of what has occurred I remain hopeful that we can agree on a way that your complaints can be reviewed along with how Child Youth and Family and the Ministry have responded to them.

In my previous letter to you, I told you about your right to ask the Ombudsman to review what has occurred between you and Child, Youth and Family. The Ombudsman has powers under the Ombudsman Act to look into the sorts of complaints you have raised and to independently review how we have dealt with you. If the Ombudsman believes it appropriate to do so, he or she can recommend how matters should be rectified. Such recommendations are invariably complied with. I want to urge you to consider this course of action.

If you are unsure about what is involved in making a complaint to the Ombudsman, then I would be happy to get someone from the Office of the Ombudsman to contact you and explain what you need to do. If there is some other way that we can resolve matters than again I would be happy to explore this with you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely
Christine Stevenson Deputy Chief Executive


Dear Christine

Thank you for your reply dated 28 February 2007 contrary to your comments in response I did in fact reply and sent the email to MR Hughes and others as I did not have you email address at that time. It would seem for some reason the reply never made it to you but I noted it appears you have read it on my webpage so aware of it now. This will also be going on my webpage.

I am pleased it would seem you are willing to work with me to resolve the issues and have noted your on going comments about taking a complaint to the ombudsmen's office, I need to point out the ombudsmen's office is the absolute final avenue of redress when all other options have been exhausted . As you seem willing to listen to my concerns I don't think we are at that point yet.

As you can see from my personal statement on this webpage ( after having been an advocate for a few years I am very aware of how to approach the different ombudsmen's offices, but thank you for your offer of help in regards to the matter anyway.

All I require for CYF to resolve the issues are for the department to act with integrity, honesty being upfront. For staff to take responsibility for their actions both professionally and personally and to provide information and stop being discriminatory.

In other words do the basic requirements of your job keeping inline with the State services Code of conduct and other relevant codes/legislation accordingly. Which should have gone without saying as the metaphor goes. If you do not wish to exacerbate the situation then this is all I require and to work out a way forward to resolve the issues finally bringing them to closure which I am sure we all want. Had CYF management doe these basic things beforehand we would not be the this point now so it was al avoidable so don't blow it this time.

Need I remind you I have claimed CYF have breached the SSC Code of conduct but as yet not seen any evidence of an investigation having taken place by the way of reports, conclusions, rebuttals or simple explanations on why my perceptions could be wrong in detail.

If we end up with the ombudsmen having to finally make a decision this would in my view be an indictment on CYF management abilities and confirm they lack integrity, therefore endorsing this unethical behavior.

The good news is I think I have solutions I would like you to consider. Before we get to that point I feel the need to recap followed on by my ideas on how we can finally resolve the issues.

No one has been able to explain or justify why information I should have been made aware of and entitled to was kept from me for nearly 6 months. I have asked this question repeatedly to no avail. It seems coincidental that the information about what the first interview panel discussed only turned up after the bad result of the second interview. To my way of thinking that confirms CYF needed the second interview to come up with better excuses and justify not employing me even under mainstreams. The hypothesis are outlined within my webpage and been ignored by CYF.

Let us not forget the first interview result was quite good and strengthen my case along with my qualifications for a mainstream placement. Based on them to factors CYF would have been hard pushed avoiding the mainstream concepts as it would have clearly shown up as discrimination. Given the first interview panel was unaware of my disability and that impacted on the interview the result was good.

The second interview was held under duress given these circumstances the bad result could have been expected as happened. I would like CYF to acknowledge this plainly obvious fact and invalidate the results accordingly. I hope CYF would do this out of a since of fairness and integrity and goodwill.

Based on that second result CYF have tried to call into disrepute and made some calumnious statements about my abilities, skills, providers and qualifications which is evidenced by the transcripts and feedback provided by CYF on my webpage for all to read.. Given I have written a as yet unanswered responses outlining my perspective on feedback and the Modus operandi I need not elaborate on that as its on my webpage for you to read. This floccinaucinihilipilification tenor in which I have been treated by CYF must end if you want to truly resolve the issues.

To me these statements seem mendacious given they are based on the second interview which should not have happened. The huge difference observed in my confidence rating during both interviews as recorded by the panels indicates how unwilling I was to be there that did impact directly on my performance as CYF wanted I believe. I already explained this throughout my webpage and CYF have ignored my claims.

I believe CYF a violated my basic human rights which further more proves my case of discrimination. I should have had a mainstream interview rather then being forced to attend a second normal interview and being set up to fail by having standards that because of the impact of my disability it would have been impossible for me to have measured up to at that time under the given circumstances . Read the sections on my webpage about the mainstream applicant criteria to expand on this and why I should have had a mainstream interview as apposed to a normal one. Read my reply to Rae Smith on my webpage that's typical of CYF management spin doctors half truths, that response also breaches the SSC Code of conduct. I will let you work out how. I am waiting for a reply Rae.

The first option I would like you to consider is:
Put mainstream for the first time on the radar/agenda with a set timeframe of implementation at the Greymouth branch of CYF. The continued and absolute resistance to mainstream program looks like discrimination to me. Need I remind you of the New Zealand Disability Strategy etc.

Given the amount of correspondence, meetings and combined with interviews CYF should by now know my abilities and weaknesses so a third interview is not needed for that reason in my view. I have no confidence with CYF ability to interview people with disabilities at the Greymouth office as you can not seem to follow your own guidelines example.

The State Services Commission suggests you use interview processes/techniques that draw out the skills of people with disabilities that never happened during the interview from my perspective. Show me one single comment in the second interview panel feedback that reflects this? Well come on, let's see if it's not there OPSH. They also add focusing on the results to be achieved, rather than the task.

Consider including a person with a disability, either from within or outside the organization, to participate in the interviewing and selection of candidates. Like that happened NOT and even if you did bring someone from outside they would more then likely be a puppet as CYF seem to suffer from nepotism. Got to keep the cronies employed? Good old tokenism!...

Avoid assumptions about what people with disabilities can and can't do. Even if someone with a similar condition is known, don't jump to conclusions about the candidate you are considering for a job. Each person is different. Here is a practical guide on this issue.

I don't think that interview panel I had in Greymouth had a clue about the impact of my disability as evidenced by the fact they think I am not analytical and lack investigation skills. While that was true at the time I hardly think they can say that now. READ THE WEBPAGE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF

My memory was the issues given the extra stress placed on me by CYF because I had to attend the second interview. Notes on my webpage explain why..

The second way I would like this resolved is simple:
I would like an unconditional without reservation apology for these things having taken place and not being addressed after copious amount of correspondence mainly on my part seeking to resolve things. Given my literacy and disability there is no doubt I have put in more of an effort then CYF to try and resolve things.

I am not a sycophantic person incase you had not noticed but that does not mean I am unreasonable. Given my webpage reads like a stuck record and CYF immovability I fail to see how I was left with any options other then to go public which I for warned you off long in advance. CYF and MSD management only have themselves to blame and given there is more of you then me someone should have been able to put the effort in to work something out by now.

It seems the MSD has lot of people Acting and Deputy's given the amount of different people popping up all over the place, yet no solutions.

In order for us to resolve this, CYF will need to make some concessions which will be a first.

If we end up unable to resolve this and it's left up to the ombudsmen's office I will continue my current course of action and pending trip to the beehive to protest in the interim. It takes a long time for the ombudsmen office to make a decision owing to the fact they are very busy. That is not a criticism of that office as they are very efficient and a pleasure to deal with based on past experiences to date.

I see the suggestion of the ombudsmen's office as delaying tactics by CYF as I am sure the outcome will be in my favor because what I have asked for is not unreasonable given the facts and evidence as outlined on this webpage.

The fairest way to decide my future at CYF once the mainstream program finishes if I last should be I achieved registration as a Social Worker. That way the decision is independent of the department given your current view on my abilities.

You never know CYF might benefit from having me on their side working with you rather then spending time on the current episode.

The mainstream and genuine apologies are not negotiable as I believe I have a good bases for insisting on both given the way CYF has acted.

The Status que from CYF is not good enough and please don't bother trying to provide me with answer that are nothing more then the regurgitation of nonsensical peripheral waffle. To spite my literacy skills I have put a lot of effort and thoughts into my responses providing you not only with a view but the underpinning reason behind it. If you are going to make a claim please quantify it so I can see were you are coming from.

Example I believe that overall you have been treated fairly that is from your letter dated 5 February 2007, so keeping facts from people, setting them up to fail is your idea of treating people fairly. Not only did you not answer the main issues you went off on a tangent the reply to you on my webpage explains it all.

Having been an advocate I know a fob off when I read one, and become very indefatigable over time because of it. Even seeing the funny side of my own malapropism when people show me them on my webpage. In other words I am not going to give up.

As an advocate with a disability I have had to fight harder then most to get my point across and never failed so I am not about to now. One battle went on for 7 years, people I work with can confirm this.

Owing to my disability it is easier for me to use email and computers I have asked the MSD management to use the media before but the letters still keep coming form your office on paper form. This is another example of the MSD just simply not caring and doing what suits them.

Come on save paper and trees we need the carbon credits anyway.
Graeme Axford

Table of Content  Page 26 of 28


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