A man subjected to a brutal roadside bleach attack last year is seeking about $60,000 compensation from the Northland Regional Council, claiming unfair dismissal from his job,

Mike Nager, who lives in Kerikeri, was driving to Whangarei on June 10, 2013, when he pulled over for a car flashing its lights behind him.

An unknown attacker threw bleach in his eyes, slashed his face with a knife and then felled him with a punch to the chest.

Mr Nager was on his way to court to give evidence against two Far North men accused of illegally draining a wetland for swamp kauri.


He returned to work 10 days after the attack and worked until October, before going on sick leave which was being paid for by ACC.

He had been planning a return to his role as an Opua-based environmental monitoring officer, but claimed his chances had been scuppered after ACC sent the council a "Stay at Work" report that he claimed was inaccurate and contained confidential medical information.

ACC rewrote the report and apologised but the council refused to destroy all copies of the original.

Mr Nager took his concerns about ACC and his employer's actions to the Northern Advocate, which published his story on March 15.

The following Monday he was told his employment was terminated as of March 19 because of the longevity of his absence and the contents of two reports which said he wasn't able to work any time soon.

The NRC declined to comment on Mr Nager's allegations, pending mediation with him.

Mr Nager, in his application to the Employment Relations Authority, said that on one occasion he was required to use for work the same vehicle in which he was attacked.

The ute had a strong smell of bleach in it which caused him to have flashbacks of the assault while driving from Whangarei to his Kerikeri home, he claims.


The statement said that during the next few weeks, the flashbacks got worse and he wasn't sleeping and had recurring nightmares about the attack.

On October 14, 2013, he claims he received a letter from the Northland Regional Council which requested that he attend a meeting regarding allegations of unauthorised vehicle use, incorrect timesheet entries and an unreported incident of a vehicle following him too closely.

The alleged unreported incident wasn't related to the bleach attack.

The authority is yet to decide on a date for hearing.