A review into an investigation into Wintec's chief executive's behaviour and a closer look at his overseas expenses in Asia is under way - costing the organisation $110,000.

A peer review into the process undertaken for a 2015 investigation into a complaint and allegations surrounding Waikato polytech's chief executive Mark Flowers started this month.

The review is being led by high-profile Wellington-based lawyer QC Victoria Casey.

Casey will advise whether the original report, clearing Flowers of any wrongdoing, was sufficiently robust and whether the council needs to reopen the investigation. It is not expected to be completed until May.


Wintec has previously refused to cite the nature of the complaint or allegations after the original investigation found the allegations had no credibility.

At the same time Wintec Council chairman Barry Harris has asked the Auditor General to get Audit New Zealand to extend its annual audit to have a closer look at overseas expenditure and restructuring costs.

The extended audit, costing $80,000, will focus on expenses incurred by the chief executive and his executive team between 2009 and 2017 in relation to travel to Hong Kong and China.

Travel expenses incurred by the chief executive and his executive team to anywhere else between 2013 and 2017 will also be put under the microscope.

Audit NZ has also been told to look at whether the redundancy and severance payments, including those bound by confidentiality agreements, made to staff between 2013 and 2017 meet Wintec's policies and the Office of the Auditor General's standards and good practice guidelines.

Harris confirmed the review at the end of 2017 in "response to media commentary and coverage at the time and the effect that was having on public confidence around Wintec's operations".

"We have obligations to all of our staff and stakeholders to ensure that our reputation, and that of its people, are upheld," he said in a statement to the Herald today.

The announcement of the review was last year welcomed by former Wintec executives including dean Merran Davis.

Wintec has come under increased scrutiny after the Herald revealed last year it had spent almost $175,000 to stop a media organisation publishing stories about its chief executive and staff.