What is Serious Wrongdoing?

Serious wrongdoing has a particular meaning under the Protected Disclosures Act (PDA)

Public & Private Sector

  • Conduct that seriously risks public health, safety or the environment
  • Conduct that seriously risks the maintenance of the law, including the right to a fair trial, and the prevention, investigation and detection of offences.
  • Criminal offences

Public Sector Only

  • Conduct of an official that is oppressive, improperly discriminatory, or grossly negligent or that constitutes gross mismanagement.

Who Can Make a Protected Disclosure?


To be eligible to make a Protected Disclosure, the person must be an ‘employee’ of the organisation they are making a disclosure about.


Definiton of ‘employee’ under the Act


  • A person who receives a wage or salary
  • A former employee
  • A homeworker (defined in Employment Relations Act 2000)
  • A person seconded for work
  • A person concerned in the management of an organisation
  • NZ Defense Force personnel
  • A volunteer