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Minister of Finance won't honour settlement agreement

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In a classic David and Goliath battle in the E.R.A., John Carter, a sixty four year old man with a back disability, coronary artery disease and a wife to provide for, is trying to get the Crown to settle a perverted 1994 High Court decision justly and truly, as was agreed on 4.4.2005.

In 1994 the high court decided that the postman was wrongfully dismissed without a final warning in 1984 and directed the parties to settle by agreement. However, the Treasury and the Crown Law office, for the Minister of Finance, were unable to settle because, as they agreed in 2001, the high court had wrongly assumed the 1984 dismissal without proof. So the then Minister of Finance nobly agreed to voluntarily renegotiate the whole settlement out of court, without the need for an appeal, and amend the settlement to make it “true”.

Over the next year, a redrafted oral apology was agreed on the basis, briefly, that Mr Carter did not resign, was not dismissed and is continuing to hold his position in the Post Office, which facts were confirmed by vital new evidence, not disclosed by the Crown in the high court, that there was no “dismissal” on the Director-General’s record kept for him in 1984.

A further or special oral apology for Mr Carter’s children was then agreed concerning the high court claim, reconfirming that Mr Carter was a good postman who never did anything wrong in the Post Office, and that as true justice required the Crown has settled with him according to his claims, which are that he is still a Post Office employee in law; he is owed wages to date etc and damages for his poor treatment since 1984 and costs, as well as assistance from the Treasury with his 1985 back injury and 2012 heart attack ACC claims, including a rehabilitation programme so that he can work as he is able and be paid for it.

The problem is that after Mr Carter’s now late son and advocate accepted these two amended draft oral apologies for him on 4.4.2005, the Treasury denied the fact and the validity of them saying “those are just some words: we settled your claim in June 1999”.

The Treasury, since August 2005, has claimed in the E.R.A. that Crown Law got Mr Carter to “waive” an oral apology for being “dismissed in 1984” and thereby settled the claim in June 1999 when Mr Carter was an unrepresented mental health patient in Porirua hospital: however, the Treasury themselves denied this fraud in an email to a lawyer on 12.10.2001.

The claim has been frustrated in the E.R.A. for 11 years now which wrongly struck it out in 2006 on the grounds that the high court decided Mr Carter was dismissed in 1984; but on 24.7.2015 member John Loftus said at a telephone conference that “if the claim is that there is an amended agreement in 2005 that Mr Carter is still a Post Office employee, I have jurisdiction to investigate that”. But he did not put this decision in writing, as he said he would, and has not been heard from since, the claim being subject to urgent determination.

Justice delayed is justice denied which reputable people say is happening here because the Crown cannot face up to honouring what it has agreed to, and are playing legalistic games to evade settling as agreed, not being able to prove that they settled the claim in June 1999. But if everybody followed the Minister of Finance’s example here and refused to honour our agreements, the whole country would come to a standstill. True and plain dealing is needed.

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