December 2019

In this issue:

  • From the President’s desk
  • Special article: supporting advocacy in employment law
  • Upcoming events
  • Notices
  • From the Executive Committee
  • Contact us

From the President’s desk

Oh how time flies! It only seems like yesterday I was preparing for my 2019 work year, and now we are nearing the end of it. I know I am looking forward to an opportunity to recharge and refresh.

I am excited as to what 2020 will bring for ELINZ. I am committed to building on the great work that has been done for the Institute this year and to taking ELINZ to new heights next year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Committee. I am honoured and privileged to work with such inspiring people, and I am grateful for your efforts, ideas, and support.

To our members, friends and supporters, I wish each of you a very safe and happy festive season. I look forward to engaging with you in the new year when we roll out a series of professional development opportunities.

Kelly Coley

Supporting advocacy in employment law

by Anthony Drake

We are all consumers one way or the other.  Consumer protection laws cover many areas of business from simple agreements to complex transactions.  It is the same with gettinAnthony Drakeg good employment
law advice.  A failure to get good advice can dramatically affect the outcome of a dispute and add to the risks.  In a recent media article there was concern raised about what was described as ‘the dirty little industry that has grown up around the Employment Relations Authority process, an industry that lacks any form of ethics’.  The criticism was directed at lay advocates and employment consultants.

Having competent and ethical employment law advisers is crucial to accessing the justice system for disenfranchised individuals and employers.  There is a long history in New Zealand which allows for lay advocates including union representatives (who are not lawyers) to appear in the employment institutions and represent claimants.  A major concern is that when people or employers are in trouble and are looking for support or a representative, they do not appreciate that ‘employment law specialist’ does not necessarily mean they are a lawyer.  Another concern is the industry is not regulated and lay advocates and consultants are not bound to act ethically because they are not on the roll of barristers and solicitors.  Lawyers are regulated and are subject to a code of conduct and complaints process.  Likewise unions are bound by incorporated society rules, specific requirements in the Employment Relations Act 2000 and their own rules, which must be registered.  While lawyers and unions have complaints processes, other lay advocates and consultants do not.

The Employment Law Institute of New Zealand Inc. (ELINZ) was founded in 1995 to promote and enhance professional standards of employment law advocacy.  Its membership consists of barristers sole, practicing barristers and solicitors, enrolled barristers and solicitors, advocates, consultants, arbitrators and mediators.  Members are experienced employment law practitioners who represent both employees and employers, and further the interests of consumers.  Where clients are looking for employment law expertise, they should ensure their selection process is robust and they are engaging members of the Institute so they can be assured of ethical representation.  The ongoing collaboration of employment law advocates, union representatives and the legal profession is paramount to the successful resolution of many employment disputes.

Upcoming Events

Save the date – 24 February 2020!

We are very pleased to announce that we have an exciting event coming up in February!Part 1: lecture on employment arbitration
Graeme Colgan will present a lecture on the topic of employment arbitration.  Employment arbitration is a valuable, yet rarely used option for alternative dispute resolution in the employment context.
Should we, as practitioners, be including it in our advocacy toolbox more often?Part 2: meet the new Executive
After the lecture, join the Executive for drinks and nibbles.  This is a great opportunity for ELINZ members to meet members of the new Executive Committee in person and to talk to us about what ELINZ will be doing in 2020.Numbers are strictly limited, so get in quick!

  • Tickets: $10.00 for current (2020) ELINZ Members, $25.00 for non-members;
  • Time: 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm;
  • Venue: Wynn Williams, Auckland (with Graeme’s lecture also available via webinar for members who cannot attend);
  • Refreshments will be available after the lecture.


Did you know …


New members …

A very warm welcome to our newest members:


ELINZ is now on LinkedIn and Facebook!LinkedIn
Primary page: for members, friends, supporters:
Primary page: group: check us out, give us a ‘like’ or join up.

From the Executive Committee







Happy holidays!

As this will be the last issue of ‘Employment Lore’ for 2019, the Executive Committee of ELINZ takes this opportunity to wish our members, friends, supporters and readers a very happy and safe Xmas and New Years.We hope you all get a chance to spend precious time with family and friends, and relax and recharge your batteries.

With best wishes,
Graeme, Kelly, Anthony, Melanie, Margaret, Paul, Hamish, Darien, Sam & Robert.


Contact us

General enquiries:
0204 169 8576Post:
PO Box 1284, Shortland Street, Auckland