A workplace bullying advocate has told the Employment Relations Authority he has no confidence in its ability to make an unbiased decision.

In the Hamilton hearing this morning, CultureSafe NZ director Allan Halse also defended breaching non-publication orders relating to a company at the centre of bullying accusations.

Authority chair Rachel Larmer told the hearing Halse had breached a non-publication order 23 times so far after a record of settlement was signed by his client in March this year.

The breaches have resulted in four different determinations from the Authority which have all found in favour of the company.


A new breach was also alerted by the company's lawyers to Larmer this morning.

Breaching a non-publication order can result in a penalty of up to $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a company.

The company claims breaches by Halse and CultureSafe NZ were causing it "significant reputational damage".

When questioned by Larmer in the dock today, Halse remained steadfast in his position that he had done nothing wrong and had no faith in Larmer to make an objective decision.

"I have no confidence in this process at all ... this court is not impartial. I'm not denying any of the [breaches]. I'm saying that I have had every right to do what I have done."

He took umbridge at the non-publication orders as he felt it took a swipe at his right to free speech and left him effectively muzzled.

"I believe in the interests of all New Zealanders that I can speak publically and it concerns me that this is a secret meeting and that the public aren't being made aware of it."

Larmer then reminded Halse that not only was the hearing open to the public, but media were present. The only restriction was publishing the complainant company's name and any identifying details.


In trying to go through the reasons for the 23 breaches, Larmer asked Halse if he had read any of the disclosure by the company's lawyers.

"I haven't looked at it. It's all white noise as far as I'm concerned," Halse replied.

Halse continued that he hadn't read any of the communication from the Authority or the company as he knew he'd not done anything wrong.

He told Larmer the issue stemmed from a confidential record of settlement agreement signed in March, between Halse's client and a company employee.

Halse said he denied breaching the settlement because no hearing was held and he claimed the decision to hand down a suppression order was given without allowing him a fair right to argue.

As the confidential agreement involved another employee of the company he believed he had done nothing wrong.

He said he had never publically mentioned the confidential settlement publically, only the company in reference to another employee.

Larmer reserved her decision.

Halse told the Herald if he was found guilty it could mean the end of Culture Safe NZ, which has been run using his own life savings.