18 August 2007

What is serious misconduct?

Simon Murdoch, CEO of Foreign Affairs, has been let off with an apology for embarrassing the Government over charter flights by Air NZ to carry Australian soldiers to Kuwait (from which destination they were probably to be deployed in Iraq). Murdoch should have advised his Minister, and even the PM, over the possibility of an Air NZ charter flight when it was first suggested informally by Air NZ. Given Murdoch's otherwise good record, and his admission of responsibility, this is probably as far as the matter should go, regarding his employment. Compare that, though, with Auckland University's decision to sack Paul Buchanan over one email that caused offense to a student, a mistake for which he too accepted responsibility and apologised... Was that a case of serious misconduct deserving of instant dismissal? I think not.


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