An Auckland Transport parking warden has failed to temporarily get his job back after his managers decided he went against instructions for dealing with abusive members of the public.

Yoon Cheol Hong worked with the council's transport body from 2012 but was dismissed in February, and brought a personal grievance for unjustified dismissal.

He filed three grievances with the Employment Relations Authority over how Auckland Transport went about suspending him from work while it investigated his concerns.

The Authority declined Hong's application for interim reinstatement of his grievances, pending an investigation in this month.


In an affidavit, Auckland Transport parking compliance manager Rick Bidgood said the catalyst for the disciplinary process that led to Hong's dismissal was comments he made during a training seminar for parking officers in January.

Mr Bidgood referred to an outburst by Hong during a discussion on how to deal with or respond to members of the public who abused or threatened a parking officer.

Bidgood said Hong had used the words in describing his own experiences in the street: "I have told people that they have to stop swearing at me as it is against the law and I will charge them for the offence.

"That language is against the Human Rights Act. No one can speak to me in such a manner and I will not tolerate it and as a person I have every right to respond. It is my right. This is mental abuse."

The authority's decision also said Bidgood said Hong had referred to "trigger points" he reached when dealing with a customers that meant he "would not back down" and that he "would respond".

Hong had a different description of what he had said at the training seminar. He insisted what he said was: "What about responding by saying, 'do not use offensive language in public place'?'' the authority decision said.

Hong was paid one month's notice in late February and in his affidavits said he had applied for 21 jobs without success and was receiving an accommodation supplement from Work and Income.