Barfoot and Thompson sack leaker, Twyford ‘disappointed’

Barfoot and Thompson have identified the person who leaked sales data and have sacked them. Not surprisingly it was against company rules.

Stuff: Barfoot & Thompson fires employee who leaked sales data

Peter Thompson: “It’s disappointing that one person could jeopardise the whole company.”

Phil Twyford was disappointed that because of what he did an employee was sacked.

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said it was “extremely disappointing” to see the staff member lose their job over leaked data.

“The whistleblower who I worked with wanted to shine a light on what is a very real issue for New Zealand – foreign investment pushing up house prices and shutting people who live here out of the property market.

“This data provided an important snapshot of what’s going on in the Auckland housing market,” Twyford said.

“I think they did Aucklanders a huge favour, telling Aucklanders, giving them a snapshot of what’s happening in the housing market – information that the government doesn’t trust people with.”

The whistleblower approached Twyford because they wanted the information in the public domain, he said.

It’s highly debatable they could be called a whistleblower.

What did Twyford expect? What planet is he from?

It’s hard to find much information about his pre-political experience.

All Wikipedia says is that he was founding director of Oxfam.

All his Labour bio says is:

With a background in leadership, campaigning and advocacy Phil’s pre-politics career allowed him to hit the ground running when he entered Parliament.

Not much insight there.

He may have hit the ground running but he has been running a  bit too fast lately and risks falling face first on the ground.

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40 Comments

  1. Mike C

     /  15th July 2015

    So great to hear this 🙂

    Good Effing Job !!!

    I have always thought that Phil Twyford is the “Phil” from Labours Ministry who was closely associated with Kim DotCom.

    Reply
  2. whats interesting here is the agent was obviously a shit earner for Barfoot & Thompson as if they were any good they would have hidden behind a denial – they actively use the REAA to cover the asses of dodgy good earners

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  15th July 2015

      Really ? I’d be surprised if this was so. They would hardly want terrible agents working for them, and being a good earner is no protection, anyway. as Hamilton’s most successful agent found. He had a house to sell which was going to have a block of flats built next door. Even though another agent actually sold the house and didn’t tell the buyers this, he was fined a large amount of money because it was on his books.. He paid up and didn’t try to wriggle out of it.

      Barfoot & Thompson are not a firm who would want to damage their reputation or jeopardise the company by condoning dodgy practices. Who’d go to them if they did this sort of thing ? Or if they had useless agents ? A company in my town had useless agents in that branch. They’re not here now.

      Reply
    • Hollyfield

       /  15th July 2015

      It’s possible the “staffer” worked in admin and was not an agent. Everywhere in the Herald article it says “staffer”, “staff member”, “employee”.

      Also of interest to me is this paragraph in the Herald
      “Mr Thompson said that while the data was passed to media and political figures, it was not given directly to the Labour Party.”
      Yet Phil Twyford says “The whistleblower approached Twyford because they wanted the information in the public domain, he said.”

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  15th July 2015

        I wondered about that. It seemed unlikely that an agent who worked for that firm would risk it, as, after all, the buyers are providing them wih a very nice income and the higher the prices, the higher the commission, so they wouldn’t care who the buyers were. I don’t KNOW, of course. But it seems highly possible that it was a clerk.

        Reply
        • SHOELACE

           /  16th July 2015

          More likely to be a very pissed-off Agent, who unlike Raybon Kan, doesn’t ‘wear their identity on their face’ 😉

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  16th July 2015

            Why ? Most agents like earning nice, high commissions.Barfoot & Thompson are hardly likely to have people there who don’t want to be,

            Reply
  3. Missy

     /  15th July 2015

    I disagree on your comment that it is debateable as to whether this person is a whistle blower – I say they are not, and there should be no protection for them on that basis. Phil Twyford, and Labour, seem to think anyone who provides them with stolen information is a whistle blower, they are over-using the term and thus rendering it meaningless.

    As for Twyford being disappointed – what on earth did he think would happen to someone who takes confidential and private client information from a business and gives it to a third party? Surely he isn’t that stupid or naïve?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2015

      Twyford is dog whistling but blathering he is a human whistle blower. The humans are not fooled.

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  15th July 2015

      I agree, Missy-to me (and to you ?) a whistle-blower discloses wrong-doing. They may use stolen information to do so, like the Swiss bank worker who exposed appalling injustices to do with money deposited during the Holocaust and that the banks had just kept-I seem to remember that money stolen by the Germans from Jews was known to be this by the banks despite their denials, but can’t now remember the details of the case.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  15th July 2015

        To me too Kittycatkin, that is why I would say there is no debateable about this person, they didn’t disclose wrong doing, so therefore not a whistle blower – no debate.

        Reply
    • That’s why I looked to see what business experience he had. Nothing on record.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  15th July 2015

        Maybe he is naïve about how businesses work, and what happens when staff members breach their employment agreements.

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  15th July 2015

          @Missy.

          Yeah Right … LOL

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  16th July 2015

            I have signed confidentiality agreements. I was in no doubt as to the consequences if these were broken. Nobody could be.

            PT MUST know something about these things, he can’t never have had an employment/confidentiality agreement.

            Reply
  4. The person who lost their job has no defence as a whistleblower, unless they passed the information with some additional information on wrong doing by B&T i would have thought.

    As that hasn’t been alleged, I would say this persons job prospects are screwed as they have materially breached their duties of care to their employer and probably violated a signed confidentiality agreement.

    I reckon when they sign up for their next job there will be a sheet asking amongst other things about dismissal for dishonesty or breach of company policy along with the catch all “anything else we should know” type question

    Twyford is “disappointed”? FFS someones career prospects have been severely damaged by acting in a partisan political way – their name will be general knowledge in Real Estate circles in Auckland within 2-3 days I should think… and he is “disappointed”. What did he expect that the passer of privileged information would be given a promotion and bonus by B&T????

    Labour screwing people since forever…. damn users

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  15th July 2015

      @Dave1924.

      Funny Funny Funny 🙂

      “Labour Screwing People Since Forever … Damn Users”

      … and Losers … LOL

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  15th July 2015

      “…their name will be general knowledge in Real Estate circles in Auckland within 2-3 days I should think… ”

      I will disagree on this, I think that is a conservative estimate. I would say that in Auckland Real Estate circles their name is probably already pretty much common knowledge, and my guess is those that don’t know now will know by tomorrow, I would give 2-4 days for their name to be common knowledge within the Real Estate sector nationally (well the North Island at least, maybe an extra day for the South Island to find out).

      I would also guess there were some that knew who it was at the weekend. If it only took a couple of days for B&T to find out, someone already knew.

      And on B&T, I say good on them for front footing this and doing something so quickly, they were very proactive in finding the leaker and dealing with them, if only some of the Govt departments were as proactive.

      Reply
      • yes good on B&T for acting quickly… but when your facing losing hundreds of customers and millions in commissions you are incentivised to act quickly and decisively

        Govt Departments have no incentive do much – sacking people is nigh impossible in the government sector

        Will be interesting to see if I can find out the name, to prove you theory correct… I have a friend in the Real Estate game in Auckland… maybe time for a chat….

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  15th July 2015

          I am basing my theory on a case a number of years ago, I knew someone who worked in the Real Estate industry many years ago (I won’t say where), and something came out in the local media about a REA who had done something (I really don’t remember what it was), but the Agent wasn’t named – she knew that afternoon. I will be a little disappointed if the gossip grapevine isn’t that good. 🙂

          Of course if it is an Admin person Agents may not deem them important enough to worry about so the name may not be quite as widely known, as it would be if it was an Agent.

          Reply
  5. Hollyfield

     /  15th July 2015

    From the Herald:
    Under the Protected Disclosures Act, there is protection for “whistle blower” employees but it only applies in limited circumstances. It applies where an employee reveals serious wrongdoing such as corruption, conduct that poses a risk to health and safety, criminal activities or gross negligence by public officials.

    Reply
    • Dave

       /  15th July 2015

      Given the date was taken without authorization, against all company policy, it was stolen. This (in my book) means Twyford should be charged with Rwceiving Stolen goods, and profiting from the crime. I see little difference between the data theif and Rawshark, or Hagar and Twyford!

      Reply
  6. traveller

     /  15th July 2015

    One man’s whistleblower is another’s traitor. I prefer the latter.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  15th July 2015

      Is someone a traitor if they expose someone like a paedophile ?

      Reply
      • No they are not Kitty – but whistle blower legislation is there to protect people who breach confidentiality to report crimes or things like mistreatment of patients or political corruption, like the Mental Health Nurse Neil Pugmire.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  15th July 2015

          I totally agree. But Traveller seems to see whistleblowers as traitors. To me. someone who exposes wrongdoing isn’t a traitor. I just couldn’t think of an example-mind blank time.

          Reply
          • traveller

             /  15th July 2015

            Kittycatkin, the pedophile is a sexual deviant committing a crime and any law abiding person is bound to report them. That’s not whistleblowing imho. There’s nothing illegal or unethical about selling houses of willing seller to Chinese, but there is something unethical about stealing your employer’s data and politically manipulating it.
            My point was that the alleged “whistleblower” is no such thing as I see it, but a traitor to their employer.

            Reply
            • kittycatkin

               /  16th July 2015

              Yes, it did occur to me too late that I had completely misunderstood-long day, tired, not thinking straight, 😦 And we can’t edit 😦

            • kittycatkin

               /  16th July 2015

              .

              It should have been obvious that you meant that.

  7. kiwi_guy

     /  15th July 2015

    Vested interests have wanted the flood of Chinese Hot Money obscured as much as possible – govt not asking, real estate operators hiding the data, in order to maintain Plausible Deniability when the public start voicing concern at the growing tide of anecdotal evidence.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th July 2015

      Foreign investment is an asset. Idiots complain about it. As they also do about free trade of any kind.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  15th July 2015

        Of course, they’d gladly pay the sort of prices that things like appliances cost in the good old days before free trade; if it meant being rid of free trade; who wouldn’t ?

        Me.

        Our new deep freeze cost $240 (it was on special) What would it have cost in the days before free trade ?

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  16th July 2015

          Who ARE these Vested Interests who have such power that they can influence the government and real estate agents ? Why only those two groups ? Why not banks and the stock exchange ? Not to mention Big Business ? Oh help, a new Chinese couple has moved into my street. They seem very pleasant,and we exchange greetings, but should I be worried ??? They may be fronts, cleverly disguised as an ordinary late-middle-aged married couple, for Hot Chinese Money.

          Reply
  8. PUMPKIN EATER

     /  15th July 2015

    Great detective work by Peter Thompson in tracking down the culprit so quickly!

    Last month, another Real Estate Agent was discharged without conviction for posting a Poo to a fellow agent he’d had a disagreement with. The NZ Herald reported however, ‘that the mystery of who the Poo actually belonged to was never solved’

    Perhaps they should have put Peter on the case…….

    Reply
  9. Missy

     /  16th July 2015

    So, the NZHerald has now outed the Agent who leaked the information, and Labour are still running the line that he is a whistle blower. The Agent says he did not pass it on to the Labour Party – so who did he pass it on to? And who passed it on to the Labour Party?

    Reply
    • SteveRemmington

       /  16th July 2015

      Im picking a left leaning pundit who works on The Nation programme.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  16th July 2015

        Most likely them, or the NZHerald, they do have a history of receiving ‘leaked’ (stolen) information.

        Reply
  10. SteveRemmington

     /  16th July 2015

    I agree Missy. I’m sure there is a political pundit with links to the nation and also the herald. Shouldn’t be hard to google.

    Reply
  11. Missy

     /  16th July 2015

    I have just seen on WO that apparently the guy who leaked the information was advertising on a Chinese property website – which if true does not make him a whistle blower, but I would suspect a possible disgruntled employee maybe.

    WO also claim that media have been discussing this story for about 2 weeks, once again if true this is not good, it means that the release was timed specifically to gain media attention this week, so that now makes me wonder if the timing was connected to the visit to China by Bill English, if so, the media have played a very cynical and political game – more so than I originally thought.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  16th July 2015

      Well, he must be a bloody fool, and he won’t be employed by another estate agency-unless they are, too.

      Reply

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