Napier City Council has been ordered to pay $4500 to a former employee - on top of $50,000 in redundancy compensation already awarded to him by the Employment Relations Authority.

In September the authority issued a determination on a dispute between the council and former stormwater asset manager Scott Estcourt.

Authority member Marcus Loftus dismissed various personal grievance claims brought by Mr Estcourt, but agreed with his claim the council had improperly failed to pay redundancy compensation. The council was ordered to pay him $50,433.90.

A hearing was held on the matter in Napier in March. Central to this was a council restructure last year. Mr Estcourt was one of several employees to raise personal grievances over the restructure.


He occupied one of three water-related council positions but in July 2016 was advised his role was to be disestablished. He felt the new job offered was not an alternative equivalent position - but the council disagreed.

In his determination, authority member Marcus Loftus wrote Mr Estcourt said the disadvantage arose from how the council had disestablished his position, and attempted to "coerce" him into an inappropriate replacement position without redundancy compensation.

The council had denied Mr Estcourt's claims had validity, arguing he was not disadvantaged "as he was offered a suitable alternate which removed the obligation to pay redundancy compensation".

Costs were reserved in the September determination.

In subsequent discussions, the parties were unable to resolve the issue of costs, Mr Loftus wrote in a decision last month.

Mr Estcourt had sought a ruling on the issue, arguing that having succeeded on the major element of the application he was entitled to a contribution toward costs.

"Mr Estcourt is of the view he should receive a contribution toward those he incurred while, in his words, NCC says honours were shared and costs should lie where they fall."

The council argued he succeeded on only one of three claims.

However, Mr Loftus stated "Mr Estcourt's success saw him attain close to 80% of the total remedies originally sought", so concluded he must be considered to have been successful.

He ordered the council pay $4500 as a contribution toward the costs Mr Estcourt incurred pursuing his claim.