19 Oct 2009

Salinger says he never saw NIWA media policy

8:31 pm on 19 October 2009

Sacked climate scientist Jim Salinger says his former employer, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), basically gave him carte blanche to talk about climate issues.

Dr Salinger says he did not see a NIWA policy on media statements until it was shown to him at a disciplinary process earlier this year.

The case of Dr Salinger's dismissal is being heard by the Employment Relations Authority in Auckland. NIWA fired him for doing media interviews without obtaining the proper authority first. Dr Salinger is claiming for loss of wages and superannuation benefits and compensation for humiliation and loss of dignity.

Doctor was concerned for well-being

His doctor, Rui Mendel, told the hearing that Dr Salinger suffers from a major depressive disorder and that the way he was treated after giving television weather presenter Jim Hickey some information was cause for concern for his well-being.

However, the lawyer representing NIWA, Peter Churchman, said Dr Salinger gave Mr Hickey the wrong information.

The hearing is set down for five days.