24 Dec 2016

Corrections to pay $17k to reinstated prison officer

3:49 pm on 24 December 2016

Corrections has been ordered to reinstate a prison officer who was sacked after she appeared in court.

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Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Iona Wikaira - who worked at Northland Prison - appeared in court on a charge of wilful damage of a windscreen, but was discharged without conviction.

Corrections dismissed her, saying it was concerned she had engaged in unlawful activity which resulted in her appearing in court, charged with a crime.

But chief employment judge Graeme Colgan ordered her reinstatement, saying the Department had not distinguished between this case and more serious misconduct.

He ordered the department to pay compensation of $17,000.

Corrections northern regional commissioner Jeanette Burns said Ms Wikaira had been reinstated, but the department expected high standards of behaviour from its staff while on or off duty.