Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

Booze-probe failings give postie her job back

Photo / NZME.
Photo / NZME.

A postie fired after being suspected of being involved in a "significant drinking session" has won her job back and been awarded $2000 compensation after a botched inquiry into the incident.

Breeze Tuhimata, who had worked at NZ Post's Papakura branch for nine years, was sacked on September 10 despite there being no conclusive evidence of her being involved or even knowing about the drinking session, the Employment Relations Authority decision said.

"I find that there were a number of deficiencies with NZ Post's investigation," said authority member Rachel Larmer.

On August 16, the Papakura delivery branch office manager visited the branch, smelled alcohol and found about 50 empty cans and bottles in the branch's recycle bin, the authority's report said.

She was told about 10 people were drinking at the branch the day before.

NZ Post was concerned that Ms Tuhimata must have known alcohol was present and being drunk but denied it when questioned.

Twelve staff were disciplined over the incident, but only Ms Tuhimata was fired, the report said.

- NZME.

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