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Who can make a disclosure

To make a protected disclosure, you must be an employee of the transport Crown entity you are making the disclosure about. This is often called whistle-blowing.

The 5 transport Crown entities are:

Under the Protected Disclosures Act, employees include:

  • former employees
  • homeworkers
  • contractors
  • people seconded to organisations.

What serious wrongdoing is

Serious wrongdoing can include:

  • unlawful, corrupt or irregular use of public money or resources
  • conduct that poses a serious risk to public health, safety, the environment or the maintenance of the law
  • any criminal offence
  • gross negligence or mismanagement by public officials.

How to report serious wrongdoing

You can share any concerns or complaints about serious wrongdoing with your chairman or chief executive.

However, you can contact us if you:

  • think the matter is urgent
  • have raised it with your organisation, 20 working days have passed, and there has been no action, or
  • believe the head of your organisation is or may be involved in the serious wrongdoing

If you email us, we contact you to discuss your complaint within 20 working days. Any discussion can happen in person, by phone or email, and will be held in strict confidence under the Protected Disclosure Act.

Email us:

You can find more information about making a protected disclosure on the Ombudsman website.

Serious wrongdoing at work (whistle-blowing)(external link)

Your confidentiality

If you make a protected disclosure, information that identifies you will be kept confidential, unless one of the exceptions in the Protected Disclosures Act applies.

The exceptions are if you consent to the disclosure, or if disclosure is essential to:

  • the effective investigation of the allegations
  • prevent serious risk to public health or safety, or the environment
  • comply with the principles of natural justice. 

When your disclosure is protected

The purpose of the Protected Disclosures Act is to encourage people to report serious wrongdoing in their workplace by providing protection for employees who want to ‘blow the whistle’. 

Your disclosure is protected if:

  • the information is about serious wrongdoing in or by your workplace
  • you reasonably believe the information is true or likely to be true, and
  • you want the serious wrongdoing to be investigated.

Your disclosure is not protected if:

  • you know the allegations are false
  • you act in bad faith
  • the information you are disclosing is protected by legal professional privilege.

How you are protected

No civil, criminal, or disciplinary proceedings can be taken against you for making a protected disclosure, or for referring one to an appropriate authority.

If your employer retaliates against you for making a protected disclosure, you can take personal grievance proceedings under the Employment Relations Act.

Under the Human Rights Act, as a whistle-blower you cannot be treated less favourably than others in the same or similar circumstances. If you are a whistle-blower who is victimised in this way you may be able to take legal action under the Human Rights Act.