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Graemea & CYF New Zealand

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

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July 1st 2009
News Archive

I have removed some reference's to e-mail address's and recipients. Graeme's text formatting is not included.
Apart from these the following is published as sent by Graeme. the webmaster

News Archives

July 2009

July 1st 2009

May 2009

These updates can be found in the UnEqual Opportunity Section of this website and comprise the last three updates to this issue of Equal Opportunity during the employment process and how the potential for discrimination can be removed in the first instance.

April 2009

EEO issues, clarity & solution.

March 2009

Potentially Discriminatory
CYF Complaints Authority Fails

February 2009

Heading North
International Attention Growing

- - - Original Message - - -
From: Graeme A []
Sent: Monday, 8 June 2009 2:33 a.m.
To: John Henderson; Peter Hughes
Cc: [ Names withheld ]
Subject: Final Issues

Dear John & Chief Executive's Advisory Panel

I am pleased to report that all the issues surrounding namewithheld seemed resolved and we have entered into a new and positive way of doing things, which I am about to put to the test…

During the mediation the issues of my webpage was raised and I said it would be staying until the concerns are resolved, but agreed to get rid of other stuff, which I have done. The mediator rightly put things into prospective by saying that the job processes did not have any impact on the child so for that reason a different issue and not one to be looked at today, that the family situation has more bearing on any possible employment, not the employment on the family situation as that has not happened (Or words to that effect, but better put then I have explained)

I am writing this to the panel but hope that before it finally ends up there, someone from CYF will take the opportunity to run with this and resolve the issues like Mr John Henderson, Regional Director Southern.

John offered for us to contact him first before going to the Panel but I am unsure at what point if any things are at.

John I had emailed Andrew McGregor and Mr Hughes before about all of this over the last few weeks leading up to the mediation and had no response. I was hoping with you coming over could be a good omen and you would address the issues, might have been the reason why I never got an answer, clearly that's not the case…

I think there is one lingering issue from the past that needs to be looked at before I am 100% happy. That is the second job interview handling I wanted the CE Advisory Panel to look into. At the time they and I were under the impression the ombudsmen's office was looking into it but a letter went astray to advise me they could only look at the administrable side of things not the ethical l as per the State Services Commission Code of conduct as it was then called, now its standards of integrity.

Now to outline and recap the issues:

I complaint I was forced to attend the second interview under duress to the point my support person who was going to attend refused to after they heard I was having two thirds of the first job interview panel back.. Both Judy Larking and Chris Pickering rang up to find out if I was still coming. So that tells me there were aware I was unhappy about doing so but still wanted it to go ahead for their sake, rather then mine, some could call that a setup…

The issues I complained about was the amount of time it had taken for any applicant to be notified of appointment, and the fact the feedback I had to push to get seemed to be lacking.

The Major issues was the fact I was not given the opportunity to use my laptop I walked in with to help cope with my disability I thought the panel would have been aware of. In fact given the closeness of the scores I found out about months later that could have made all the difference as you can see here

You can read more about that with the first inter meeting link on my webpage

Just as a note and point: the question has to be asked if CYF were not aware of my disability to spite the fact my personal statement mentioned it and clues on my CV, Would I have even got short-listed had they picked up on it earlier as that was a screening question not meant for EEO purpose and deemed by the Human Rights Commission to be "problematic as it raises the possibility of unlawful discrimination" as you can read here

By the way john you still use the question to spite having been told this.

After the first interview I wrote to Mr Hughes and told him that office was under to much pressure and things were not being done in a timely manner… and there were issues like the feedback, laptop use. I would like addressed, which never happened to this day and you can read about on my webpage.

There was also some unfinished business you can read about here before I wanted to attend the second interview. However it went ahead in the full knowledge I was unhappy and pressured to attend, Like that will bring out the best in a person NOT.

"Graeme expressed he was unhappy about the circumstances surrounding and leading up to the second interview and he felt this had an impacted as reflected by the low score" (these notes were not agreed on)

Herein is the reason I felt I was forced to attend:

Had I refused to attend CYF could have said they offered me a second job interview and I refused so they could do no more, therefore I have no further grounds which could come back on them given my lack of cooperation.

Second, is the job interview should and could have easily been done as a parallel process to go along with identifying any possible Mainstream opportunities in the future as CYF were doing interviews anyway at that time.

Just as a note the mainstream criteria recognizes that the person has a disability which could hinder them from getting a job via normal channels.

You can read about it here on your own MSD webpage

After the second interview I had a meeting with Pam Wilkenshaw and Chris Pickering to discuss the feedback and you can read more about that on my webpage. There is a timeline on my webpage that explains how things went down, how this all fits in and what these peoples roles were at the time all this happened given some have changed since I believe.

However even after that what I since found out about is there was feedback that had of been kept from the first interview and not until a while after the second one happened was I made aware of it.

So to me that is unethical behavior especially as I already had a meeting with Paula Attrill & Shona Hickey and was not made aware of any other information at that time and until a month later after even the second interview and another meeting with CYF had happened…

Now here is an example of why I believe the Chief Executive's Advisory Panel can look into the last aspect of my complaint which I have broken down from here


Cyf staff are meant to "treat everyone fairly and with respect" given the fact I did not want to really attend the second job interview I hardly see that as Fair and the feedback under the circumstances is not respectful to my training provider, in fact it was outright insulting and uncalled for under any circumstances.

I do not believe between the first and second interviews it was either "professional or responsive" In fact the underhanded threat I believe Paula gave me at the Greymouth meeting tells me otherwise…

The threat as I perceived it was more or less if I went public alls that would happen is I would damage my own reputation and chances of working as a social worker anywhere by CYF portraying me as not measuring up and substandard.

Hang on that's what happened anyway after the second interview…

Also given the fact she would not put Mainstream on the radar was hardly fair or respectful considering my disability issues which were by then well known.

"strive to make a difference to the well-being of New Zealand and all its people"

Well I do note is says make a difference to the wellbeing, but not if it should be a good or bad one as in my case.

Now we move on to the Impartial bit:

I don't believe at that time CYF staff did carry out the functions of our organisation, unaffected by our personal beliefs. I mean come on when you look at the difference between the first and second interview scores something clearly went wrong. If you read my responses to them which have gone largely unanswered… I believe CYF went out to try and shut me down and up as Paula said "Paula noted that if the Media is contacted, CYF would be likely to respond in a way that articulates the Departments view on the matter" well that's one way of putting it, however I knew at that point CYF wanted to get their hands on me to ensure they got the result they wanted under the most unfair circumstances which come as no surprise as everything fell apart beforehand, eg support person pulling out, meeting notes not finished, two thirds of the same panel back again who I questioned and not received the response from before the second interview happened. I mean come on people how can that be Fair or impartial.

Under the section Trustworthy

"be honest,"

I don't think keeping information from people fits in with the spirit of what honesty is.

"Avoid any activities, work or non-work, that may harm the reputation of our organisation or of the State Services."

Given all the aforementioned I believe CYF reputation has been tarnished and harmed…

The only response into these issues I got on 5 February 2007, which never even come close to addressing the issues as aforementioned and outlined on my webpage.

I am not aware that the job interview processes exempts staff from their duties or obligations of behaving in and ethical manner, especially when it states both work and none work activities, … The point being if none work activities can be taken into account if these activities, may harm the reputation of our organisation or of the State Services, then the job interview processes must surely come into this category at the least.

My webpage has far more details about the events that transpired if you care to read them.

My understanding is when the Chief Executive's Advisory Panel was set up they have a broad scope and definition so basically they could look into any CYF related functions. (That is not before the court or other review) The State Services Commission said it's up to the CEO Mr Hughes to investigate any alleged breaches of the standards of integrity. That being the case I believe either Mr Hughes or His panel can investigate my case to see if any exist.

Need I remind you that before the CE panel happened Mr Hughes could find no wrongdoing on the part of CYF after many complaints? I feel if either John or the Panel takes a fresh look at this we could get a different result and solution we could all be happy with to resolve this for once and for all, and in case you missed it I will not rest until that happens. Now the family issues with CYF are sorted it back to this one…

All I am asking for is recognition that my application and interviews were not handled as best it could have been. For an apology to be given and to be assured that mainstream will be put on the radar and to work as favorably as possible to see if a placement can be made …

A lot of time has passed in which I believe I have proven my critics wrong. I believe under trying circumstances I have to the best of my ability and given the fact family issues are involved acted reasonably responsibly. Given the fact CYF personally and professionally called my qualifications and training into question I did not allow that to greatly affect the family issues at hand that needed sorting.

In fact the CE panel said about me

"He articulated the hurts and misunderstandings as he saw them that had accumulated over the eight year period. In his statement Mr Axford was objective and gave praise where he felt it was due as well as the specific criticisms that form the basis of his complaint. In speaking about the mistakes as he saw them Mr Axford said that these were 'not mistakes of malice -just pressure of work'. Mr Axford said …" Page 4

"Graeme presented as being receptive to hearing feedback. He was very appropriate during the conversation and displayed positive body language; …"

"The Panel agreed that while Graeme is qualified and presented with social work qualities and attributes …"

I should also point out during my time with the CE panel one of the members said until I had told them they would not have known I had a disability (or words to that affect)

So it seems my future and worth and career as a social worker was decided upon the completion of the second interview which was at total odds and contrast to the first interview results. It also appears that the feedback is not consistent with how many others within CYF have seen me as the aforementioned statements have shown. Sure that feedback is accurate for the day but not representative of who I am and what I do professionally or personally.

I want to give you one example of what I mean "Analytical thinking is understanding a situation by breaking it apart into smaller pieces, or tracing the implications of a situation in a step-by-step way"

While that is talking about the role-play scenario how many people who work and know me can honestly believe I lack "Analytical thinking" People who read that have been flabbergasted, by that statement especially after reading my webpage.

Cyf, claim based upon that interview I really have no idea about statutory requirements, well I think given my talk with the CE panel and results I might have a little bit more of an clue then I got credit for and do understand some Social Work practices very well …

I think I have been more then gracious, always willing to work towards a better conclusion and win-win result when possible. When and offence or wrong has occurred, I have fronted up and try to resolved the issues. Given CYF got dragged to the CE panel and after that seen the errors of their ways I am hoping history does not repeat. I think I have suffered and put up with enough personally and professionally and now its time for CYF to prove by their actions we can now put to rest the final chapter. As I said all along I want all the issues resolved to do with me, my family and CYF. While there is much more I could say I think CYF need to come up with an appropriate response and remedy they feel is adequate.

I am holding off making my media release until I know if this is an issue for the panel or CYF staff to address. I will tell you now John given the run around I have had and the time itís taken to get this far I am not about to let this last issues rest.

In case you missed it because I feel we are all in a better place now and somewhat wiser and got to know each other better, I am more interested in as LV Martian and Son said "it's the putting right that counts, not contributing blame… "

I have done my bit videos, FGC blogs etc are all gone and the protesting stopped for now. I have more then met CYF half way and we are at the point of total peace or all out war starting up if I get ignored over this last issues … Now the family is happy and sorted its time for me to concentrate on getting justice for myself without anything else clouding things.

If I have to go public and start protesting over this unresolved injustice, then so be it but please don't say I did not warn CYF first. I expect a response from either you or the panel about how is doing what if anything about this final issues within a few days.

Graeme Axford

This letter was written in a hurry and it now 2:30am so could contain errors owing lateness and my disability…


New CYFnz Blog

Child, Youth and Family (CYF)

This new blog is about New Zealandís Child Protection Services (CPS) otherwise know as Child, Youth and Family (CYF) in New Zealand, which is run by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).


Youtube Videos

As people might be aware I have been through the new Child, Youth and Family (CYF) new complaints system and as a grand gesture of good faith hoping things would change pulled all my videos in the hoped we had entered into a new Era. Well I can now confirm we have entered into a new Error by believing anything at CYF would change. So the fight goes on and I have a few new surprises coming up soon including more blogs to be added among many other things. Youtube Videos

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