The significant cost to taxpayers comprises a payment of a redundancy and/or a confidential settlement.The $4.036m went towards settling 221 packages, including55 confidential settlements and 166 redundancies.

(Left) Wintec council chairman Barry Harris said the number of confidential payouts can be higher if restructures have been carried out. Photo / Alan Gibson

The Waikato-based institute has previously refused to release the breakdown of the $4.036m settlements but it works out to an average of $18,200 per person between 2005 and September 2016.

In 2016, the medianincome in New Zealand was $48,800 a year or $23.50 an hour.

The Herald revealed today that the organisation made 45 confidential settlements between 2008 and September 2006.

The school also made 53 restructures between 2009 and 2015.

Former Wintec School of Sports and Exercise Science team manager Dr Don Milham, who was paid $140,000 in lost wages, costs and hurt and humiliation after the Employment Relations Authority ruled he was unfairly disadvantaged following a flawed disciplinary process and unjustifiably dismissed during a sham restructure, said the high number of settlements was indicative of the culture.

Principal of employment at law specialist ChenPalmer, Anthony Russell, said settlements were not unusual and generally ranged in value between one and six months’ salary, and no more than $30,000-$40,000 in compensation.

He said paying 12 months’ salary is not unheard of but would be outside the general range of settlements.

– NZ Herald


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