28 Sep 2016

Academic apologises for Facebook posts

1:03 pm on 28 September 2016

A Taranaki academic has apologised for disparaging comments she made on social media about her former employer.

Western Institute of Technology

Western Institute of Technology Photo: Facebook / Western Institute of Technology

In the Employment Relations Authority's written determination Dr Christine Fenton acknowledges she made disparaging comments about the Western Institute of Technology in two Facebook posts.

This contravened an agreement made between the two parties when the former academic director was made redundant by the Taranaki polytech in 2014.

At a hearing last month, the institute and Dr Fenton each said the other had breached a non-disparagement clause in an agreement between them.

Details of the comments were suppressed.

Dr Fenton also has to contribute to the polytech's legal costs, which stood at $120,000 before the hearing.

In 2014, Dr Fenton made a protected disclosure outlining irregularities in the institute's Maori programs.

After an investigation, the polytech was ordered to repay about $4 million dollars in funding.

  • Polytech loses bid to get whistle-blower's documents
  • Polytech's consultants cost more than $1m
  • Taranaki polytech axes courses