Now I must admit, the classic kiwi pie isn't at the top of my list of snacks, but I do know for many New Zealanders the pie has a special place in their hearts (and their stomachs!).

Well pie lovers, you can breathe a sigh of relief that the Employment Relations Authority recently upheld as justified a decision by George Weston Foods to dismiss an employee for disobeying a lawful and reasonable instruction in relation to - wait for it - storing cockroaches in his locker at the company premises (cue gagging and thoughts of previous pies consumed for many I suspect).

Of course it wasn't lost on me that the division of the company that the employee worked for was Purity Foods... Oh the irony.

A cleaner for the company advised its Production Manager that Mr Faumuina was storing cockroaches in his office. The Production Manager, Mr Sweetman, raised this with Mr Faumuina, who in an interesting twist, admitted keeping the cockroaches in his office and advised the Manager that he was keeping them as evidence for his partner's case - his partner was also an employee of the company and was apparently pursuing a personal grievance challenging the validity of a warning she had received.

The Manager explained to Mr Faumuina that his partner's warning had nothing to do with cockroaches. He explained that the storage of dead insects on company property was a violation of the company's health and safety policy, and further that it created a health risk for other workers and the public. Unsurprisingly he was ordered to dispose of the insects immediately.

Mr Faumuina refused to do so. The Manager, sticking to his pest free guns, explained that he was being given a lawful and reasonable instruction and that if he refused to comply with it, the company would view that as serious. Despite that, Mr Faumuina refused to remove the cockroaches from his locker.

The company then wrote to Mr Faumuina inviting him to attend a disciplinary meeting and referring to continued misconduct (the company was referring to a warning Mr Faumuina had received approximately four months earlier, for taking leave without approval, in breach of the company's procedures). He was advised his continued employment was in jeopardy.

Upon receipt of the letter outlining the company's allegations, and inviting him to attend a disciplinary meeting, Mr Faumuina changed his position and advised that he would remove the cockroaches from his office. He was advised by the Production Manager that it was: 'too late for that...'.

In terms of process, the company proceeded with the disciplinary meeting and Mr Faumuina accepted that he was on notice that a potential outcome could be the summary termination of his employment. Another issue which was discussed was whether Mr Faumuina had notified anyone within the company about the presence of cockroaches, as he was required to do.

Mr Faumuina's evidence was that he had but on checking the company found no reports had been made by Mr Faumuina to his supervisor. Perhaps the most telling response, however, was Mr Faumuina's answer to the question: what would he do if he was asked again to remove cockroaches - would he obey instructions from now on?

Mr Faumuina's response was: no, I would refuse again. Not surprising then that the Authority found: The dismissal process was fair and reasonable. Mr Faumuina received a lawful and reasonable direction. He disobeyed that on two occasions. He was given an opportunity to explain and mitigate his earlier disobedience and he wilfully refused and at the disciplinary meeting showed no remorse and said that he would refuse again.

When advising employees my recommendation is always, if you have made a mistake and done wrong, admit it and ask for another chance. It may well be that the facts and circumstances are such that it is fair and reasonable for you to be afforded a second chance. However, if you don't accept that your conduct is wrong, and the employer finds it is, it can also add that its concerns are heightened by a failure to accept responsibility for the actions or to understand the seriousness of them. This can go to the employer's ability to have the necessary level of trust and confidence in the employee.

Many of you will recall that pies made the headlines late last year when a New Zealand Police Officer became a YouTube sensation following his directions to an offender: you've always got to blow on the pie. 'You've got to blow on the pie' and 'Always blow on the pie' have now become cult sayings in New Zealand. I'm sure you can even buy t-shirts bearing the slogans.

But as much as I like sayings, I do think there are some things that go without saying - like cockroaches and cuisine don't mix - be it haute cuisine or the humble pie.