Minister can't recall when KiwiRail workplace concerns raised

Kristin Hall
Source: 1News

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises says he can’t remember when concerns about KiwiRail Chief Executive Greg Miller and other senior leaders were first raised with him.

An independent interviewer has been hired to speak with recent departures at KiwiRail.

This comes as 1News has received allegations of “archaic, sexist” and “bullying” behaviour by senior leaders.

1News has spoken to 16 current and former KiwiRail staff who are concerned about the leadership of Greg Miller, who was promoted from board chair to chief executive in May 2019.

A current KiwiRail employee told 1News complaints about Miller’s leadership had been made to government, including ministers “on several occasions”.

“They are very much aware of this,” the staffer says.

But SOE Minister David Clark says he “would struggle to put a date” on when concerns were raised with him and couldn’t say whether it was weeks or months ago.

“Look, I wouldn’t remember exactly when particular concerns were raised. Concerns are raised with me all the time about different organisations that I deal with,” Clark said.

“When any concerns are raised they’re referred onto the board and dealt with appropriately.”

KiwiRail has hired Kevin McMahon, an independent executive coach and leadership consultant to interview around 20 former senior managers who’ve left in the past two years.

When asked if a more wide-ranging review of KiwiRail that includes current staff is required, Clark said he’s confident in the current process.

“I have confidence in the way the Chair is handling the concerns that have been raised with her.

"We do expect any SOE to be a good employer and any concerns that are raised are appropriately addressed by the board.”

Do you know more about this story? Contact our reporter Kristin Hall in confidence on kristin.hall@tvnz.co.nz