Kiwis fear calling out fraud at work

  • 05/07/2017

A study into whistleblowing in Australia and New Zealand shows many Kiwi businesses don't have effective support processes in place to help staff resolve issues.

The trans-Tasman survey, 'Whistling While They Work 2' says 36 percent of New Zealand organisations don't have a dedicated support person on site.

The research revealed inconsistent approaches to dealing with misconduct issues, and weaknesses with the system as a whole, particularly at a legislative level.

"It raises questions around the usability and the relevance of the New Zealand Protected Disclosures Act, which is designed to help agencies effectively and safely facilitate whistleblowing in the workplace," Victoria University's Associate Professor Michael Macaulay says.

"Recently we've seen how dealing with protected disclosures is crucial to the integrity of our public sector. This research will give us the information we need to strengthen processes around whistleblowing and mitigate against some of the problems."

The project is led by Griffith University's Centre for Governance & Public Policy, in Brisbane, Australia, with contributions from several Australian universities and government organisations, as well as Victoria University and the NZ State Services Commission.

Prof Macaulay says ensuring whistleblowers feel protected is not hard to achieve.

"People need a safe space to be able to make a report, where they feel protected, supported and they can make those reports in a safe psychological space.

"It can be an incredibly stressful situation when people are trying to speak about misconduct and a lot doesn't go for huge high-level fraud and it's absolutely essential that people feel safe at work and that people feel protected."

NZN / Newshub.