Hon Chris HipkinsMinister of State ServicesMEDIA STATEMENT
The Government is strengthening the Protected Disclosures Act to provide better protection for whistle blowers, Minister
of State Services Chris Hipkins said today.
“The Protected Disclosures Act is meant to encourage people to speak up about serious wrongdoing in the workplace and
protect them from losing their jobs or being mistreated.
“We know however that the Act is not working as well as it should and is seen as weak and confusing,” Chris Hipkins
“It is crucial that employees feel safe to report cases of serious misconduct. Anyone who raises issues of serious
misconduct or wrongdoing needs to have faith that their role, reputation, and career development will not be
The Government will take a two-pronged approach to strengthening our protected disclosures regime. We will introduce
several legislative amendments that will address the key deficiencies in the Act. These include:
o Allowing people to report serious wrongdoing direct to an external authority if they wish
o Strengthening protection for disclosers by outlining what those receiving disclosures must do
o Requiring public sector organisations to provide support for disclosers
o Extending the coverage of serious wrongdoing to include misuse of public funds or public authority by non-government
In addition, the State Services Commission will continue to work on further possible amendments to the Act, build
awareness of the Act and existing standards and guidance, test the feasibility and usefulness of establishing reporting
and monitoring arrangements and consider the potential for a ‘one stop shop’ for disclosures.
“Strengthening our protected disclosures regime is critical to maintaining public confidence in the integrity of
government and business in New Zealand. International research found that reporting by employees is the single most
important method by which wrongdoing in, or by, an organisation is brought to light.
“These changes will give those making and receiving disclosures much greater clarity regarding the scope of the Act and
greater understanding of and confidence in the process,” Chris Hipkins said.