NZNO injunction application proceeds as DHB MECA report drops

Media Release: NZNO President

27 August, 2019

Last-ditch mediation between the President and the Board of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation ended in Wellington today without agreement. The President is opposing the Board’s attempt to remove him from office over a complaint laid by a senior NZNO staff member in July 2018, and other allegations yet to be released. 

The failed talks took place on the same day that the NZNO Chief Executive released the DHB/NZNO MECA Negotiation Process Independent Review Report

“The Independent Review Report lays bare the tensions within NZNO at the time that the senior staffer laid the complaint against me”, said NZNO President Grant Brookes. 

The Independent Review Report found that the pressures which came onto the organisation and individuals during the 2018 DHB MECA negotiations were intense and, at times, almost overwhelming and that this had consequences in strained relationships. 

The overriding recommendation in the Report is that NZNO invest in an internal reconciliation and and dialogue process with the objective of restoring respect, communication and cooperation. 

“It’s an absolute tragedy that the NZNO Board has failed to heed this advice and has instead done the opposite”, said Grant Brookes. “With preparations already under way for DHB bargaining next year, NZNO members need leaders they can trust to implement the Report’s recommendations.”

“Meanwhile, every day that the Board’s process continues, more damage is done to NZNO and to the image of our nursing profession. It’s time to call a halt.”

The President’s application for an injunction against his removal from office will now proceed. A preliminary hearing will take place in the Employment Relations Authority at 50 Customhouse Quay in Wellington at 9.30am on Thursday, 29 August.

The hearing is open to the public. Donations are still being accepted through Givealittle for Grant Brookes’ legal defence fund.

Update 5.30pm: My lawyer has advised that new information which has come to light necessitates the postponement of the hearing before the Employment Relations Authority which was set down for Thursday.

Update, 3 September: Today, an updated Statement of Problem was filed in the Employment Relations Authority seeking a compliance order against the NZNO Board. The compliance order could compel the Board to abide by the NZNO Constitution, and invalidate the actions they have taken in breach of the Constitution. The ERA has granted urgency, although a date has not yet been set for a hearing.

Update, 29 November: The new NZNO Board has agreed to a proposal for the withdrawal of the legal proceedings, on the basis that all outstanding matters are at an end, and this has now been done.

3 thoughts on “NZNO injunction application proceeds as DHB MECA report drops

  1. As President of the NZNO are you not entitled to free (paid for by NZNO) independent legal advice?
    I admire your attempts to bring NZNO into the 21st century.


    1. Kia ora AJ Thank you for your question.

      NZNO members are entitled to NZNO legal services, under the terms outlined in the “NZNO Legal Services Operational Policy”, and also to legal assistance through NZNO Indemnity Insurance.

      The “Frequently Asked Questions” about indemnity insurance says that “only medico-legal matters are covered under your indemnity insurance and only in relation to your practice.” Therefore, my matter is not covered — see link.


      1. The “NZNO Legal Services Operational Policy” (see link) adds:

        • “NZNO will offer representation for other types of cases which arise at the Nursing Council or other relevant regulatory authority”
        • “NZNO may take cases for members within the employment jurisdiction”, and
        • “NZNO will offer legal representation to members undergoing ACC reviews for established or alleged workplace injuries, but only to the completion of the review.”

        My matter does not come under these categories, either. Besides, it would clearly be impossible for a lawyer employed, or contracted by NZNO to represent me against the NZNO Board.


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