15 Mar 2004

SPREP director accused of harassing staff while claiming immunity

4:54 pm on 15 March 2004

The lawyer acting for a New Zealand woman in Samoa says her client is being harassed by her employer amid his claim that as head of an international organisation he enjoys immunity.

The lawyer, Olinda Woodroffe, says Asterio Takesy, who is the director general of the Apia-based environment organisation SPREP, has for weeks tried to make her client and a Samoan employee resign.

Ms Woodroffe says she is speaking out because there is no such thing as immunity when dealing with employment matters.

"SPREP need to tell its director that employees are entitled to due process and fair treatment, and harassment of two women for two months, verbally, without anything written, I think, is a no-no."

Olinda Woodroffe says the employment matter has also been raised with the Samoan government and the New Zealand foreign ministry.