Port Tauranga threatened after terminating tug engineer

Port received legal threats, demand for $100-million worth of gold bullion and money

Port Tauranga threatened after terminating tug engineer

The Port of Tauranga received legal threats and compensation demands after it terminated a tug engineer who refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) was investigating the unjustified dismissal claim of tug engineer Stuart Young when it found out about the threats and demands.

According to the ERA, the port's general manager of corporate services received the threats from the Common Law Movement, which the authority said was a "group operating under the misconceived notion that the rule of law does not apply to them as sovereign citizens in their own right."

Threats from the group about dismissal

The movement, which Young was associated with previously, accused the port of breaching the "common laws of England" and told them to "cease and desist all coercion."

Further emails from the movement said the general manager would be "legally liable" for a port worker who got ill with myocardia after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Enjoy this New Year's Eve because it looks likely that you will be spending the next one in prison," the email said as quoted by the ERA.

The port also told the authority that it received a notice of declaration of debt verification and tort damages from the movement, which noted Young as a "beneficiary."

According to the notice, deaths stemming from COVID-19 vaccines would mean a "murder had taken place," and that the port and its employees had "conspired and coerced" Young into being part to the "mandate deception."

The notice further demanded payment of $100 million, where one-tenth would be paid into Young's bank account and the remainder would be paid in gold bullion.

Young defended in court that he was no longer associated with the movement, adding that he only became involved at a "low point in his life."

ERA decision about unjustified dismissal claim

Addressing the unjustified dismissal claim, the ERA ruled that Young's dismissal was correct, noting that he was given but refused the opportunity to get redeployed into another role.

"Young's application is unsuccessful and is dismissed," the ERA said in its ruling.

Both parties sought name suppression of their names and details in the case, but the ERA denied it in the principle of open justice.

According to the ERA, it has been years since a member of the Common Law Movement harassed a port employee, adding that Young has also disassociated with the group.

"Having disassociated himself, I find the risk of any further harassment or backlash to the respondent or its witnesses negligible," the ERA said.

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