Head of KiwiBuild pursuing constructive dismissal case against Ministry of Housing

Former head of KiwiBuild Stephen Barclay has hit back at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, denying he quit due to complaints over alleged bad behaviour.

Mr Barclay says he's "extremely disappointed" in the Ministry's statement, which alleges he stood down from his role when an investigation into a slew of complaints from employees, contractors and stakeholders was launched.

In his own statement issued on Monday, he also announced he would be pursuing a case of constructive dismissal against his former employer.

"The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has divulged details of an employment matter, and [Mr Barclay] considers this a breach of privacy," the statement reads.

"As a result, Mr Barclay feels he has no choice but to respond."

He says he was employed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment from July to October 2018, during which time no issues about his performance, management style or leadership were raised.

He blames the complaints on the KiwiBuild programme being moved to the Ministry of Housing.

"Within two weeks [of the move], he can confirm there were a small number of complaints from individuals who held a close relationship to the CEO, Mr Crisp," Mr Barclay's retaliatory statement continued.

The chief executive of the Ministry of Housing, Andrew Crisp, released a statement earlier on Monday alleging Mr Barclay resigned as soon as an investigation into his behaviour was launched.

The statement from Mr Barclay refutes this.

"As soon as Mr Barclay was informed of complaints, he responded to them within the week, requesting the complaints be independently investigated and additional people relevant to the complaints be questioned."

He says these independent investigations were repeatedly denied, and he was suspended for two months, which forced him into resignation.

This argument is believed to form the basis of a case of constructive dismissal against the Ministry.